Jordan Hill Proving Why He Should Be Key Piece in Los Angeles Lakers Rebuild

The Los Angeles Lakers are searching for positives in the midst of a lost season. Although Jordan Hill hasn’t received big minutes under head coach Mike D’Antoni, he’s made a strong case to be brought back via free agency.

After missing eight consecutive games to start the month of March—due to a combination of DNP-CDs and knee soreness, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin—Hill has performed admirably in his return to the playing rotation.

In a two-game span, the 26-year-old is averaging 18.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest while converting 59.1 percent of his field-goal attempts. That includes a career-best 28-point outburst against the Orlando Magic—in which the interior presence grabbed 13 rebounds and got to the free-throw line 13 times (cashing 10 of them).

Lakerland only has three players with guaranteed contracts for 2014-15: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre, per ShamSports. Even when accounting for a high lottery pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Lakers management still has plenty of roster spots to fill this summer.

Hill may fit into LA’s future plans—and the money factor will help decide that moving forward—but general manager Mitch Kupchak would be foolish not to pursue the young big man when his contract expires.


Team/Coach Fit

Hill struggled to carve a niche in the NBA as a rookie with the New York Knicks. After getting drafted eighth overall in 2009, the University of Arizona product played just 10.5 minutes per game in 24 appearances before getting dealt to the Houston Rockets in a three-team trade.

He spent the majority of his rookie campaign in D’Antoni’s doghouse, but improved across the board statistically in Houston with added opportunity.

Hill has matured and played much better during his second stint under D&rsquo...

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