The headline may be somewhat misleading because I doubt that the Houston Rockets who just signed Dwight Howard to a 4 year $88 million deal will want to trade the best big man in the game. The only possibility of that happening would be a greater or equal to trade offer by a team willing to take on the average of $22 million that Howard will earn over the next 3 seasons. Maybe the Pacers are up to the task!
It's been ever more evident watching this seasons playoffs that Roy Hibbert is not the big bad center many of us thought he was becoming after his performance during last years post season play. Hibbert was supposed to set the "pace" of the game with his presence in the paint both offensively but especially defensively. It's just not happening and at this point in his career after playing six seasons in Indiana. He's relatively young as he'll be 28 years old at the end of this year but can he improve his game or more importantly remain consistent throughout the regular and post seasons?
Let's say hypothetically that the Pacers were to offer Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson for Dwight Howard....would you do it if you're a Rockets fan and do Pacers fans think that would be too much given Stephenson's athletic ability and the possibility of Hibbert becoming a force down low by the boards? Maybe Kevin McHale and Hakeem Olajuwan can help Hibbert the way they are Howard and gain an athletic freak in Stephenson as well. For the record Stephenson will be an unrestricted free agent so bare in mind that this is purely an example of where the Pacers franchise currently is and their immediate future after Miami knocks them out of the playoffs.
Looking at it from the Rockets standpoint there are several things you have to take into account. First is that your team got knocked out of the playoffs rather easily in the 1st round. It seems clear that Houston has a problem when it comes to that 3rd guy who can help you down the stretch. You see it in Miami, OKC and San Antonio who happen to be the other 3 remaining playoff teams. We hear the term "big 3" in basketball all the time because that formula has been proven to work over the past decade or more. I mentioned the teams in this years playoffs but the Celtics and Lakers both had their big 3 guys as well. Michael Jordan doesn't play anymore so the one man show is over, sorry LeBron. Harden went to the NBA Finals with the Thunder as part of a big 3 with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Hibbert and Stephenson aren't those guys but who knows.....
The Pacers have their star in Paul George. But he needs help and it's not consistent aside from the leadership of David West. The bottom line is that the Indiana Pacers need to find out if Hibbert has what it takes and shop him around in a package deal for a guy like Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Zach Randolph and others on the NBA 2014-2015 free agent list. Lance Stephenson's name appears on that list as well so the Pacers really need to start thinking about whether they need to rebuild or repair a team who is so close to reaching the ultimate goal. What do you basketball fans think?