Pacers trade Roy Hibbert to the Lakers for future pick

Roy Hibbert is a Pacer no more.

The Pacers sent Hibbert and his $15.5 million contract to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for a future second-round pick, the team announced Thursday.

Coach Frank Vogel was just what Hibbert needed after Jim O'Brien, and he has always his corner.

Coach Frank Vogel was just what Hibbert needed after Jim O’Brien, and he has always his corner.

Hibbert went west for the summer, to L.A., in fact, to clear his mind and work towards his post-basketball life. He’s practiced jiu-jitsu, and even met up again with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

“I’d like to thank Roy for all his contributions during his time in Indiana,” Larry Bird said. “He was a two-time NBA All-Star, and we appreciate everything he did for our franchise both on and off the court.”

Hibbert goes to the Lakers who still are rebuilding their roster while also celebrating the conclusion of Kobe Bryant’s career.

“We’re happy to add a veteran big man to the roster,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “Roy is a proven All-Star center that will help improve our front line. In addition he is a consummate professional and we look forward to having him on the team.”

Earlier this summer, Hibbert exercised his player option for this upcoming season, which guaranteed him the $15.5 million for the final year of a four-year max deal he signed in 2012.

The 7-foot-2 center distanced himself from Indy after the season, even not co-hosting a celebrity softball challenge for the first time since 2010.

Earlier this year, Hibbert announced this past season was the final year of Area 55, his fan section he started to get fans to games and create a lively atmosphere.

The 17th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Queens native and Georgetown product averaged 11.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game in seven seasons in Indy. He’s a two-time All-Star (2012, 2014), and we will never forget his block on Carmelo Anthony in the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

With Hibbert traded, Indiana’s depth at center includes Ian Mahinmi, Lavoy Allen, and 2015 first-round pick Myles Turner.

This story will be updated.

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