With Paul George injured and out for the season, it has been rumored that the Indiana Pacers have been calling around looking for a deal to trade starting center Roy Hibbert. Although 7-footers are at a premium in the NBA, teams looking for a capable center should look elsewhere.
A case could easily be made that Hibbert did not deserve an All-Star bid in 2014. Before the NBA All-Star game, he was averaging only 11.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Couple that with 46.4 percent from the field, and Hibbert could have been replaced with a different player in the Eastern Conference.
To put it simply, Hibbert is not an offensive threat. Last season, Hibbert’s PER of 13.54 ranked 188th in the NBA. In his six-year NBA career, his points per 36 minutes average has declined every single season. Furthermore, he has never shot above 49.7 percent from the field. For players who qualified last season, Hibbert tallied the eighth-worst field-goal percentage in the league.
Even as a 7-footer, Hibbert struggles mightily as a rebounder. He has never averaged over 8.8 rebounds per game, and somehow only managed to grab 6.6 rebounds for the team with the best defensive efficiency last season. Last year, he ranked 62nd in offensive rebound rate and a 149th in defensive rebound rate, further detailing his lack of skill on the boards.
Hibbert’s struggles culminated in his performance during the 2014 NBA Playoffs, which was pitiful. In 19 playoff games, Hibbert averaged 9.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game on 44.9 percent shooting from the floor.
His defense is his only elite NBA skill, tallying the third-highest block percentage in the league last season. Still, his lack of offensive game makes him a player who is not at all appealing, especially because the Pacers will look for an asset in return for their center.