- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Acquiring Roy Hibbert in a salary-dump deal is among the Dallas Mavericks' backup plans to acquire a starting center if they aren’t able to persuade DeAndre Jordan to leave Los Angeles, according to a source.
The Mavs made a strong impression on Jordan during their Wednesday morning meeting, particularly coach Rick Carlisle, sources told ESPN.com. The Clippers’ meeting with Jordan is scheduled for Thursday evening.
If Jordan doesn’t choose Dallas, the Mavs must find a starting center after the free-agency market has been picked thin. Dallas anticipates that Robin Lopez, the last available proven starting center, will be off the board by the time Jordan makes his decision.
But trading for Hibbert, whose $15.5 million salary the Indiana Pacers would like to shed, would allow the Mavs to fill their vacancy at center without making a long-term financial commitment. The 7-foot-2 Hibbert is in the final season of his contract.
Hibbert was an All-Star as recently as 2013-14 but has struggled the last season and a half and doesn’t fit the Pacers’ plan to play faster. Still, the 28-year-old has the size and ability to be one of the NBA’s premier rim protectors.
2dMarc Stein and Tim MacMahon