What Can Hill Bring To The Wolves?
What do we know about Jordan Hill?
We know that he has a very strong hair game.
And that when it comes to rebounding, the dude is a mad man.
Chances are Scott Layden and Tom Thibodeau signed Hill because of the rebounding and not the hair. You never know, though.
Hill brings a few things to the Wolves.
Let’s continue with the rebounding. That’s been his claim to fame in his first seven years in the NBA. He’s averaged 5.9 rebounds per game throughout his career. That number doesn’t exactly jump off this web page I’m sure, but once you dig a little deeper it will. Per 36 minutes, Hill is averaging 11.2 rebounds and just four seasons ago, he was hauling in 13 boards per 36 minutes. To put that into perspective, Karl-Anthony Towns was the only player on the Wolves to average double-digit rebounds (11.7) per 36 minutes last season.
His rebounds per 36 ranked 50th in the league last season, above players like Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge, Draymond Green and Nerlens Noel.
Going into the offseason, the Wolves had Towns and Gorgui Dieng as the main guys in the post. What kind of production the team could get out of Nemanja Bjelica, who had his moments during his rookie season, and Adreian Payne, who has the physical tools to be great, was a question. And still is. As is the health status of Kevin Garnett and Nikola Pekovic.
Thibodeau and Layden recognized that problem and they went out and signed Cole Aldrich, a defensive-minded center, and Hill.
It’s too early to tell, but Aldrich and Hill will probably get the most minutes after Towns and Dieng on the frontline. A position that looked shallow heading into the offseason now looks incredibly deep.
At 6-10, 235 pounds, Hill can play both power forward and center. He’s a solid finisher inside, finishing at a 65.9 percent clip at the rim. He’s developed a nice game from 10 to 16 feet as well, hitting 50.6 percent of his buckets last season. You won’t confuse Hill for a floor stretcher, but he’s not incapable of hitting a shot from the elbow. He’s made a huge improvement on his range throughout his career.
Hill and Dieng have a similar offensive skill set, so it’s unlikely they’ll see time on the court together, but we’ll see.
The Wolves aren’t the pups they used to be, but their core still consists of youngsters like Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. Hill is by no means an old veteran, but with seven years in the league, only Garnett, Pekovic and Brandon Rush have more experience in the NBA than Hill. That certainly doesn’t hurt.
It wasn’t the splashiest move from the Wolves, but splash in the offseason doesn’t always mean a whole lot. Just ask the (warning: we are about to cross sports) Miami Dolphins after acquiring Ndamukong Suh, Jordan Cameron and Kenny Stills last season. That resulted in six wins.
With the additions of Hill, Aldrich and Rush, the Wolves aren’t sacrificing the future, but at the same time, they are improving the team for the 2016-17 season while also allowing the core of the team to grow together.