LA Lakers Waste Golden Opportunity Not Trading Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill is having a career season, but the Los Angeles Lakers have a strange way of showing it.

Not only has the hard-playing big man received inconsistent minutes, but management failed to move him before the trade deadline.

The 6’10” free agent will stay in L.A. for now, as will Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman, who also have expiring contracts. All three centers will likely move once the season ends with the Lakers receiving nothing in return save for a season riddled with losses and questions.

When Thursday’s deadline approached, Hill was seemingly in high demand. There were active discussions with the Brooklyn Nets as well as other teams regarding the high-energy player.

As the deadline inched closer, more NBA teams joined in the hunt.

And just as suddenly, it was all over. The deadline had passed, and the only Lakers trade was the transfer of Steve Blake and his expiring $4 million contract for underused free agents MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore of the Golden State Warriors.

And what about Hill? In a competitive marketplace, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak wasn’t able to swing a deal that would have provided financial relief and brought back actual basketball assets.

After it was all over on Thursday, Kupchak met with the media at the team’s practice facility and elaborated on the evolution of trading in the modern NBA. Whereas GMs once spoke one-on-one, it has now become decision-making by committee. Per the Lakers’ website:

Now everything is (on) speaker phone, there are probably 8-10 people in an office listening, running numbers, giving opinion. It’s a big business. Everybody’s looking out for their own self-interests and everybody has an opinion, so consequently, it’s tough to make a deal – any kind of a deal.

Kupchak added that the organization’s moti...

About the Author