Jordan Hill provided an unexpected postseason spark for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2012 Playoffs. Not surprisingly, the Lakers are interested in re-signing the free-agent big man. The big question about Jordan Hill for Lakers fans like me is now this:
Just how good will Jordan Hill be in the future?
The only true answer to this question is obviously this: Who in the heck knows?
Benchmarking, however, may give us the best peek into what the future may hold for Jordan Hill.
Using data taken from pro-basketball-reference.com (data here), here are five big men who put up similar numbers to the now 24-year-old Jordan Hill through their first three seasons. Based on these comparable players, Jordan Hill's career could go anywhere from being a borderline All-Star to a bench warming bust.
First Three Seasons Stats - Jordan Hill Comparable Players
Jordan Hill (2010-2012) - 158 G's, 14.6 MPG, 5.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.6 BPG, 49% FG
Marcin Gortat (2008-2010) - 150 G's, 12.8 MPG, 3.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.8 BPG, 55% FG
Glen Davis (2008-2010) - 199 G's, 17.6 MPG, 5.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.3 BPG, 45% FG
Ronny Turiaf (2006-2008) - 173 G's, 15.6 MPG, 5.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 50% FG
Shelden Williams (2007-2009) - 190 G's, 14.7 MPG, 4.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.4 BPG, 45% FG
Josh Powell (2006-2008) - 138 G's, 14.6 MPG, 4.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.3 BPG, 46% FG
The Good News
The Lakers would love to re-sign Jordan Hill and see him blossom into a double-double guy like Marcin Gortat.
Gortat spent the first three plus years of his career getting limited minutes with the Orlando Magic before being traded to the Phoenix Suns and developing into a 15 and 10 guy in 2012. Marcin Gortat just needed the right opportunity to become a borderline All-Star. Perhaps the same can be true for Jordan Hill.
Another comparable player to Jordan Hill through three years is Glen "Big Baby" Davis, and that's not a bad thing. Davis is a solid role player who has played well for both the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic in their playoff runs, and Jordan Hill could do the same going forward with the Lakers.
The Bad News
Unfortunately for Lakers fans like me, watching a 24-year-old three-year veteran like Jordan Hill morph into a productive player like Marcin Gortat is the rare exception. There are far more guys like Jordan Hill who wind up with careers that mirror Ronny Turiaf, Shelden Williams, and Josh Powell.
No team would be rushing out today to sign Turiaf, Williams, or Powell, hoping they can play a key role in getting their team to the Finals.
Just take a look at the full list of 23 comparable recent forwards and centers who put up similar numbers to Jordan Hill (games played, minutes, points, rebounds) at roughly the same age through their first three years in the NBA.
Pretty depressing list, isn't it?
Actually, pretty dang depressing list, isn't it?
Players who have produced at a similar level as Jordan Hill through the first three years of their careers have done so for a reason - they are inconsistent, they do not do any one thing especially well, or they have flaws that cannot be hid.
My Prediction for Jordan Hill's Future
As a Lakers fan, I hope Los Angeles is able to re-sign Jordan Hill at the right price. I was impressed with his play in the postseason. I liked his energy and toughness, something the Lakers bench totally lacked in 2012.
I also like Jordan Hill's career Per-36 minute stats of 13.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG, and 1.6 BPG.
If the Lakers end up moving either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol via trade, Jordan Hill could be productive as a 20-25 MPG role player next year. Not a star, but not a bust, either.
Jordan Hill can become a good player with the right opportunity and deliver limited offense, double-digit rebound potential, and toughness inside.
With the terrible bench the Lakers currently have, a "good" Jordan Hill is more than good enough for me.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Lakers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles: