The Portland Trailblazers tried to steal 25-year old center Roy Hibbert as a free agent, but the Pacers ante’d up to keep him. Hibbert played in 65 games (all starts) for the Pacers last year and he averaged 29.8 minutes, 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He has now played in 297 games (256 starts) in his first four years in the NBA and he is averaging 24.3 minutes, 11.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.6 blocked shots per game. Hibbert keeps getting better every season. 25-year old Ian Mahinmi will be Hibbert’s caddy in 2012-13. Mahinmi played in 61 games (12 starts) for the Mavericks last year and he averaged 18.7 minutes, 5.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.2 assists per game. He has now played in 149 games (12 starts) in his first four years in the NBA and he is averaging 12.2 minutes, 4.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.2 assists per game. 24-year old Miles Plumlee was a first round pick out of Duke in last June’s NBA Draft. He played in 135 games in his three years at Duke and he averaged 15.8 minutes, 4.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.3 assists per game. Plumlee projects as a backup and little more in the future.
PROJECTED GRADE AT CENTER FOR THE 2012-13 SEASON: B+