When the Lakers traded for Roy Hibbert last summer, they envisioned him anchoring an upgraded defense. They hoped he could work with other veterans – Kobe Bryant, Lou Williams, Brandon Bass – to form a decent team.
It hasn’t worked.
The Lakers have the NBA’s worst defense, and they allow more points per possession when Hibbert plays. They’re 9-35.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:
Hibbert has never looked worse. He’s too slow and stiff defensively, and he’s a mess offensively. On an expiring contract, he might provide depth to a contender. But it’s difficult for teams to match his $15,592,216 salary without including at least one player more valuable than him.
A potential fit: Boston. The Celtics might rather have Hibbert than David Lee, another washed-up player on a big expiring contract. At least Hibbert would give them flexibility to play a different style with a hulking big man in the middle. If the Lakers are just trying to help Hibbert, that swap wouldn’t hurt them. But it doesn’t help, either. Maybe they could extract a second-rounder from Boston.
Otherwise, Hibbert’s prime value is facilitating a larger trade if a star becomes available – especially because the Lakers’ most valuable trade chips (D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson) make so little money.