Hibbert undervalued

Roy Hibbert averaged just 14.4 minutes of court time last year.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - When you are 7'2" tall, like Indiana's Roy Hibbert, you get noticed. You also usually get drafted to play professional basketball. So it was no surprise when the Toronto Raptors made Hibbert their first-round pick (17th overall) in the 2008 NBA draft.

The problem, at least for fantasy owners, is that Hibbert didn't have much of an offensive game at Georgetown University. Despite towering over most of his opposition, Hibbert averaged 13.4 ppg and 6.4 rpg in his final season. Still, you can't teach height and Hibbert was selected by Toronto and then traded to Indiana with Maceo Baston, T.J. Ford and Rasho Nesterovic for Nathan Jawai and Jermaine O'Neal.

Here's the good news.

Hibbert averaged slightly over one point every two minutes in his rookie season. If he had played 36 minutes, like Dwight Howard or Yao Ming, he'd be posting 17.6 points every night along with 8.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Ay, there's the rub as Hamlet would say.

Unfortunately, Hibbert averaged just 14.4 minutes of court time last year. That's because he also averaged 3.1 fouls in those few minutes which usually got him a seat on the bench next to the assistant coaches.

Hibbert has been playing better in the preseason, averaging 13.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 23.9 minutes through the first seven preseason games. He also comes relatively cheap with a preseason ADP (Average Draft Position) of around 150, so he'll cost you around a 13th-round pick.

If he can just stay on the court, he could be worth that and much more.

Shaquille O'Neal averaged 17.8 ppg and 8.4 rpg last year in Phoenix and he had a 2009-10 ADP (Average Draft Position) of 108 while Andrew Bynum (14.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg) has an ADP of 68.

Roy Hibbert could be a valuable asset worth taking a flyer on with a late-round pick.

Roy Hibbert Statistics - last three years
2006 Georgetown 37 26.4 12.9 6.9 1.1 0.5 2.4
2007 Georgetown 34 26.3 13.4 6.4 1.9 0.5 2.2
2008 IND 70 14.4 7.1 3.5 0.7 0.3 1.1

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.