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With Hill and Hibbert re-signing, Pacers retain starting five

The Sports Xchange
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The Pacers went into the offseason wanting to keep their starting lineup from last season together.

In order to do that, though, the Pacers had to re-sign guard George Hill and center Roy Hibbert.

Hill? Check.

Hibbert? Also a check.

The Pacers came to terms with Hill just days after the free agency period began. Hill agreed to a five-year, $40 million deal to return to his hometown team.

"I think it's a blessing," Hill said. "I think it's big for the city of Indianapolis. They're not only getting a good player, they're also getting a good guy in the community. We want to keep things moving on this Pacers journey to try to get better each year."

Hill became the starting point guard late last season when Darren Collison went down with an injury. The Pacers won seven straight games with Hill as the starter, and he averaged 15.4 points and 5.4 assists during that stretch.

Keeping Hibbert wasn't as easy for the Pacers.

Portland offered the big man a four-year, $58 million deal hours into the free agency period on July 1.

After thinking about it for more than the week, the Pacers told Hibbert not to worry about signing the offer sheet, that they would give him the exact same contract.

Now the Pacers likely will return all five starters -- Hill, Hibbert, David West, Danny Granger and Paul George -- from a team that finished with the fifth-best record in the NBA last season.

"To keep things rolling, you need to get everybody back so it's the way it was before," Hill said.

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