The Lakers struck out in adding a star in free agency, but they did find an established player to use their cap space on:
Yahoo Sources: Pacers finalizing terms on a trade to send center Roy Hibbert to the Lakers. Hibbert's been informed he's headed to Lakers.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 4, 2015
It’s a nice rental for the Lakers and the type of addition they should be focused on. They’re having a hard time making the big splash in part because they weren’t just bad, they were really bad, and the plan for the future is unclear considering Kobe Bryant’s age and the assets they’ve dealt away in trades.
Hibbert won’t get them in true contention, nor is he likely to be there very long, but adding one of the best rim protectors in the game should make their defense at least respectable, and that goes a long way towards making the franchise itself look more respectable again (consider how the tone of talking about the Jazz changed once Rudy Gobert emerged and Enes Kanter was traded).
For the Pacers, it’s an odd end to what should have been a more celebrated term with the team. As Boston declined and Chicago waited for Derrick Rose to get healthy, Indiana stepped into the void as the only even somewhat threatening opponent in the East to the Heat. Just a year after making the Conference Finals, Lance Stephenson has changed teams not once, but twice, David West turned down a ton of money to leave for a different contender, and both Pacers fans and team brass were eager to move on from Hibbert.
It’s a fresh start for all three parties and, aside from Indiana not having added pieces up front to replace West and/or Hibbert, a deal that doesn’t hold much risk.