(Indianapolis, IN) - The NBA's free agent negotiation period got underway on Sunday and the Indiana Pacers reportedly have a huge decision to make right off the bat.
Reports say that the Portland Trail Blazers will offer Pacers restricted free agent center Roy Hibbert a maximum contract once the contract moratorium ends next week.
he Pacers will be able to match the deal or let their all-star center head west while receiving compensation from the Blazers. A third team could also be in the mix for Hibbert's services.
Once Hibbert receives a formal contract offer, the Pacers will have three days to match. The raw numbers for the deals are not available as they are tied to the salary cap for the 2012-13 season, which has yet to be announced.
Another report over the weekend says that the Pacers are one of five finalists for the services of free agent guard Brandon Roy. A degenerative knee condition forced Roy to retire from the Trail Blazers before last season, but he has since traveled to Europe for the knee therapy popularized by the Lakers' Kobe Bryant.
Indiana is also reportedly negotiating with their own restricted free agent guard George Hill and New Orleans restricted free agent guard Eric Gordon. The Pacers offered Hill an extension averaging in the neighborhood of six-million dollars annually during the 2011-12 season which Hill turned down. Gordon is an Indianapolis native who played collegiality at Indiana University and began his pro career with the Los Angeles Clippers. He was traded to New Orleans last season as part of the Chris Paul deal. Reports out of New Orleans say the Hornets will match any deal offered to Gordon.
Teams are allowed to start extending contract offers to free agents on July 11th.
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