Looking at his past, he has increased his point production in each successive season that he has played in thus far in his career. Also, last season he averaged one more minute per game and shot 49.7 percent from the field.
Even so, he only takes a little more than 10 shot attempts per game. That is part of the problem. The system that the Pacers run offensively relies more on their guard play.
The other part of the problem is perception. In Hibbert’s case, people will have to change what they perceive as being good value (offensively) for a max contract. Is 12 points per game acceptable? If not, should the team or coaching staff adjust their strategy to make better use of their max contract player?
In the modern era of basketball, where fans’ perception of the game is dictated and governed by fantasy stats, offensive productivity is probably overvalued.
There was once a time when an extremely (offensively) limited Dikembe Mutombo was paid $65 million over four years for being a defensive juggernaut.
Perhaps fans (and many writers) should go back to just being fans and observers of the game. Everyone wants to formulate opinions as if they were a general manager, but their not. If a player like Hibbert can dominate one side of the ball and contribute on the other, perhaps he has earned his check.
Consider that there are many offensive stars who are average (at best) on defense, yet earn max contract money and are perceived as being worth it.
As Hibbert himself says, stick with him. He is still young—only in his fifth season.
He has the desire to improve and get better, he just needs time and patience.
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