Give Me Hibbert

There's a lot of time between now and the NBA draft. Like, three months. Hell, there's two months before we know what draft pick the Kings will have in the first round.

But I know who I'm going to beg for if the Kings don't miraculously earn a top three choice. And that's Roy Hibbert.

Hibbert is the 7'2 20-year-old monster anchoring Georgetown into the Final Four. I think everyone who cares about basketball saw UNC-GU last Sunday, and I'm pretty sure everyone will be watching him take on Greg Oden's Ohio State this weekend. So you already know something about dude's game.

Let me argue the case on why he'd be a perfect fit for Sacramento, then.

He's a big man. The Kings need a big man. This is a given. Brad Miller's basketball apoptosis is on the calendar. Kenny Thomas is one of the most limited offensive players in the league. Shareef Abdur-Rahim is good for 25 minutes of silky iso offense a night, and nothing more. Corliss Williamson is a veteran's exception for a contender. Justin Williams is so raw offensively it's difficult to advocate serious November and December playing time. The best reasonably priced big this summer will be Mikki Moore.

Unless he pulls a major trade for an athletic or otherwise terrific frontcourt, Geoff Petrie must draft a big. This season was a failure for a couple reasons: poor shooting, poor rebounding, poor defense. Why is this all a problem? There's no center on this team. Miller hasn't been a decent rebounder, defender, or inside scorer for a couple years. Shockingly, most teams depend on a center to rebound the ball, anchor the defense and provide shotblocking, and score at a high percentage. Miller's calling card to All-Star status was money shooting and incredible passing/playmaking. (The passing was there this season, even if the turnovers have escalated. But the shot is gone. His eFG% is .444, and his eFG is .385 on jumpers. Last season, those numbers were .513 and .475. That is a magnificent drop.)

Miller is still a positive force on the team as a whole - his net on/off is the best among rotation players. The team's offense is about 2.7% better when he's on the floor, and this season the team defense has even been about 3.4% better (because there is no backup center). He's clearly valuable with respect to his passing, his table-setting, his screens, his somewhat clever team defense, and his unhoggish offense.

But he can't be a winning team's starting center, I'm convinced, unless he has an incredibly studtastic frontcourt running mate who can rebound and block shots and man up on opposing bigs and score down low.

Enter Roy Hibbert.

He's one of the most efficient offensive players in the nation. He knows when to take shots, and he doesn't play out of his element. He's shooting .670 this season (!), he gets to the line frequently, where he hits about 70% of his foul shots. (Good for a big.) He's not a turnover machine. He passes the ball well enough. He plays on the second-best offensive team in college basketball, which suggests he's fairly good at the little things, as well. He's a tremendous offensive rebounder. And he does it all in the Princeton offense.

On defense, he's one of the top shotblockers in the nation. He's a strong defensive rebounder. he takes up a ton of space. Georgetown has a top 20 defense, and he's the anchor. He fouls a bit much, which wouldn't be as big an issue in the unNazi NBA.

He's not going to take his defender out on the floor. He's not going to sling backdoor bounce passes to Kevin Martin. He's not going to take one three-pointer, let alone two a game.

He's the polar opposite of Brad Miller.

So imagine a Miller/Hibbert frontcourt - Brad back to his more natural PF position and Hibbert in the middle. Hibbert knows the Princeton, so whatever new coach (?) came in could rely heavily on it with other Carril vets like Mike Bibby, Miller, and Martin. If the pairing doesn't work as planned, you've got a stud center for the next 10 years, a guy whose post game is still developing despite being one of the best centers in college.

Yes, I'd love to have Greg Oden. But Hibbert is a more realistic dream, and one that can bring glory just the same. DraftExpress and NBADraft.net have Hibbert going at #8, ESPN's Chad Ford has him at #12.

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