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Hibbert Key to Mavs' Signing D-Will?

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February 26, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Eastern Conference center Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers (55) during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
February 26, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Eastern Conference center Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers (55) during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Reports out of Dallas Monday have the Mavericks readying an offer for the Pacers' Roy Hibbert, with some suggesting the 7'2" (7'4", to Shaq's eyes) Hibbert is Mark Cuban's "Plan B", with Deron Williams "Plan A." But not everyone is so sure that Hibbert isn't something more: a way to persuade Williams that Dallas is serious about the future.

Pairing D-Will and Dwight Howard in a Dallas dream combo would be tough considering the Mavs' cap situation, even after Brendan Haywood is amnestied. Adding Hibbert, who had a breakout year and is still only 25, would be easier. He's likely to command $5 million to $7 million less than Howard's $19.5 million nut. Of course, Hibbert is a restricted free agent and the Pacers who have plenty of cap room (but suspect finances) could match any offer Cuban might throw out. (And even an unsuccessful bid could raise Brook Lopez's asking price.)

Williams is reportedly concerned that there is "no longevity" in Dallas, that a 34-year-old Dirk Nowitzki is likely to decline as the team moves forward, leaving him in a rebuilding effort.. On the other hand, if the Mavs' chances at D-Will depend getting on Hibbert, it may show how hard-pressed Dallas will be to sign Williams.