Arguably the biggest acquisition the Los Angeles Lakers made this off-season was the trade for center Roy Hibbert. Even though he experienced a down year last season, Hibbert remained one of the league’s best rim protectors as his numbers were on par with the likes of Andrew Bogut and Marc Gasol.
Hibbert is hoping to turn things around this season, but some apparently believe that is unlikely to happen. ESPN’s Summer Forecast ranked who they believe will be the worst newcomer in the NBA this season and Hibbert came in at number five:
The four players ranked ahead of Hibbert on the list were Rajon Rondo of the Sacramento Kings, Lance Stephenson of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Wesley Matthews and Deron Williams of the Dallas Mavericks. All of these players on the list are talented, but even still it’s surprising to see Hibbert rank so high.
Hibbert’s numbers were surely disappointing last season, but some have spoken about Hibbert’s tendency to get in his own head and that most of his problems were mental. A change of scenery is likely exactly what Hibbert needs and his skills and style mesh perfectly with what the Lakers want in their big man.
At his introductory press conference, Hibbert said that he is focused strictly on defense and controlling the boards. He won’t be able to single-handedly turn the Lakers into a top-10 defensive team, but any improvements will be a positive for the Lakers.[divide]