It should be no surprise that the Indiana Pacers are frantically searching for ways to improve the roster after their near epic collapse last season. For that reason, rumors circulating about them willing to trade center Roy Hibbert for Detroit Pistons power forward Greg Monroe are certainly intriguing. At the same time, it is somewhat of a head scratcher considering the two bring very different elements to the game.
The rumor began at the hands of Detroit Sports 105.1 radio host Matt Dery:
It is understandable why the Pacers want to bring a different look to the frontcourt. At this point, there needs to be a change somewhere on the roster, especially since LeBron James and Kevin Love will combine to make a near-unstoppable force with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that is in Indiana’s division. However, is it really necessary to unload defensive star Hibbert?
There is no question the Pacers would be getting an improvement on offense with Monroe. That alone could be a game changer in the playoffs. With that said, losing a defensive presence around the basket could have a devastating effect on the team, one that will be impossible to fix mid-season or down the stretch.
Personally, I do not think this particular rumor will have legs. For starters, Pacers’ President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird took Hibbert out to dinner with Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, as evidenced on Hibbert’s Instagram account. Even though that does not mean Hibbert cannot be traded, it is hard to imagine Bird would display words of wisdom with another basketball legend only to deal Hibbert as soon as a team calls about him.
More importantly, this trade would not benefit either team enough where it would be worth going through with the deal. The Pacers would have to overpay for Monroe, which hardly seems worth it. The Pistons would have to figure out a way to fit Hibbert into their lineup without taking minutes away from center Andre Drummond.
As intriguing as the trade rumor is, there is no way it happens.