Will Jordan Hill be a Laker in 2015-16 or would his departure via trade help the Lakers in the long haul?
The Los Angeles Lakers will indeed have their hands full in the offseason.
Next year’s Summer will be similar to the past one, as the Lakers have to decide on what players to keep and which ones to allow to walk into free agency.
It all begins with Jordan Hill, arguably the second best player on the Lakers roster. Hill was selected by the New York Knicks with the eighth pick in the 2009 draft.
Hill since then has turned into a double-double threat and a player that can play the power forward and center position. Through the first 31 games, Hill is averaging 12.2 points and 8 rebounds in 29.2 MPG. Hill is a terrific offensive rebounder as well, as he is currently tied for ninth in offensive boards in the league.
In the offseason Hill signed a two-year $18 million contract with the Lakers. Los Angeles has the option to resign him next season, his final year of the contract.
As of now, Hill is playing slightly worse than his price tag. Mainly because he is an average defender and his low efficiency (47 FG%). What saves Hill is his versatility and that he is an improved pick and pop player, which explains his lower field goal percentage.
The Lakers have various routes to take, if they don’t want to bring Hill back. They will start having Ed Davis and Julius Randle
down low. Randle, the Lakers seventh pick in this years draft will be back and will likely start at power forward. Davis, who the
Lakers signed for two years $2 million, appears to be the biggest bargain in the offseason.
The Lakers can start both Davis and Randle and go after a center if they want to keep Davis in a reserve role. Marc Gasol (right), Brook Lopez and Al Jefferson can opt for free agency.
Despite the Lakers’ struggles (10-22), one can assume that they are a more appealing team for these centers, in terms of marketing than their current teams.
Hill is a solid player that is valued highly because of his improvement and versatility. But at $9 million a year, with so many legit centers available, it’s hard to imagine the Lakers keeping him.