Apr 16, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill (27) dunks the ball against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency 2014: Can Jordan Hill Flourish in Philadelphia?

When discussing Jordan Hill, forget that Hill was once the 8th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Hill was drafted by the Knicks and with their front office, it makes sense. All in all, Jordan Hill is a career backup big man, but that’s completely fine, because he plays a pivotal role that is necessary on any team. With career averages of 6.7 points and 5.3 rebounds, Hill has proven he can come in and provide some  energy sprinkled with a dose of rebounding and scoring. Playing in the wasteland that was the Los Angeles Lakers this season, Hill had his best season as a pro — averaging 9.7 points and 7.4 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game. Averaging close to a double-double in 20 minutes per game is impressive, even on a team as bad as the Lakers. Hill’s per-36 numbers show 16.7 points and 12.8 rebounds per game, which are insanely good statistics. Obviously, per-36 numbers are only an estimate of someone’s production, but still, 17 and 13 is hard to ignore, even if it’s just an estimate.

Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) of LakeShowLife.com was generous enough to give me the rundown on Jordan Hill:

Strengths – You won’t find anyone in the league with the motor like Jordan Hill. Compare him to Kenneth Faried, and not just the hair style. His best asset and ability is cleaning up the offensive glass. He ranked 3rd last year with  a 13.8% offensive rebounding percentage. He isn’t the tallest big man, but he knows how to get in the right positions and punish teams on the glass. He’s also athletic enough to hurt teams. It’s sneaky athleticism, as he’ll pull out a poster dunk or impressive block out of no where. As an energy guy, you can’t do much better than him.

Weaknesses – As energetic as Hill is, he has a hard time maintaining consistency. While the splits may not suggest otherwise, Hill could not maintain the same energy and efficiency as a starter in expanded minutes that he did coming off the bench. Hill offensive is still limited, with a small array of post moves and no jumper. Defensively, his energy will help him make plays, but the same problems occur as on offense: he can not maintain that level.

Hill is still a great asset to have off the bench. If he can improve his consistency, he could be your starting center, but there’s a big leap still to be made.

It’s a good thing that Philadelphia won’t be asking Jordan Hill to be our starting center, thanks to Nerlens Noel. However, Hill seems like the perfect complement to Nerlens Noel, coming off of the bench. He does everything that a backup big is expected to do, bring hustle and energy with a decent amount of rebounding and scoring. Hill will only command around $4-to-5 million dollars per season and the Sixers could entice the big man by offering him a longer term contract, three or four years possibly. Hill is versatile too, with experience playing both the center and power forward positions. If the Sixers want to bring in Hill as a power forward, he could possibly earn a starting position. This depends on if Thaddeus Young is traded, or maybe Thad is moved to the small forward position, or back to a sixth-man role off the bench. All of those intricacies will be decided during the off-season, but Hill seems like a competent option at a cheap rate.

Is there any reason for the Sixers to not bring Hill in? Hill reminds me a lot of Henry Sims, but there’s nothing wrong with having two players like that on the roster. The Sixers need front court players that can compete in the NBA — the D-League experiments should be kept to a minimum. Hill has proven that he can play in this league and could flourish with the right amount of minutes. Producing close to a double-double in 20 minutes with the Lakers is no joke. Jordan Hill appears like the exact player that Sam Hinkie can get for cheap and take advantage of.

Would you want to see Jordan Hill in a Sixers uniform next season?

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