The Portland Trail Blazers made the first big splash as the free agency period opened, offering restricted free agent Roy Hibbert a max contract as the clock struck midnight July 1. According to TNT's David Aldridge, the Indiana Pacers are still deliberating whether to match the four-year, $58 million offer sheet the Blazers gave the All-Star center:
League source says Pacers still have not decided if they will match proposed max offer sheet by Portland over the weekend to @Hoya2aPacer.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 5, 2012
Hibbert has improved in each of his four seasons as one of the true centers in the league, culminating in an appearance in the 2012 All-Star Game. But the Pacers and Kevin Pritchard are apparently hesitant to match the max money offered. They had already met with free agent center Chris Kaman as a possible backup plan to losing Hibbert, and have signed guard George Hill to a reported five-year, $40 million contract.