The Indiana Pacers have engaged the Dallas Mavericks in discussions about a three-way sign-and-trade agreement that would potentially bring former All-Star center Roy Hibbert to the Clippers, a league executive told The Times on Saturday, though the Mavericks’ motivation to complete such a deal seemed doubtful.
ESPN reported that Dallas would not be inclined to help the Clippers, a Western Conference rival, even after free-agent DeAndre Jordan agreed to leave the Clippers for the Mavericks on Friday. Jordan committed to signing a four-year, $80-million contract with the Mavericks once the moratorium on formal commitments ends Thursday.
Under the proposed three-way sign-and-trade agreement, the Clippers would receive Hibbert, the Mavericks would get Jordan and the Pacers Monta Ellis, who already agreed to sign with them for four years and $44 million.
Indiana is seeking to trade Hibbert after failing to get him to decline his player option for $15.5 million for next season by publicly implying in April he might be benched if he returned. The Pacers are expected to engage other teams for Hibbert’s services if the sign-and-trade agreement with the Mavericks and Clippers falls through.
The Clippers could pursue a separate trade with the Pacers for Hibbert involving Jamal Crawford, whose $5.6-million contract for next season recently became guaranteed, but the Clippers would need to include additional players to satisfy trade salary requirements.
Free-agent power forward David West, a onetime teammate of Chris Paul’s in New Orleans, is seeking a new home, but he is reportedly being pursued by the San Antonio Spurs in the wake of their agreement to sign LaMarcus Aldridge. West would not be an ideal fit with the Clippers anyway because they already have All-Star Blake Griffin starting at power forward.
One potential replacement for Jordan was taken off the table Saturday when the Toronto Raptors reached an agreement to sign center Bismack Biyombo for two years and $6 million. A potential bid to secure Kosta Koufos could have hit a snag now that the Lakers are believed to be interested in using a chunk of their available $23 million on the free-agent center.
The Clippers can offer Koufos only as much as $2 million per season unless they are able to work out a sign-and-trade agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The options continue to dwindle for the Clippers, who might have to consider an undersized Amare Stoudemire or an over-the-hill Kendrick Perkins to replace a player who had become one of the NBA’s top defenders and rebounders.