Should Tarik Black Replace Jordan Hill on the L.A. Lakers Roster Next Season?

In what is surely a year of rebuilding and rebirth, the Los Angeles Lakers are faced with the possibility that their experiment with Jordan Hill as starting center may have run its course.

The Lakers, who finished a franchise-worst 21-61, may also consider the financial implications that come with waiving Hill’s $9 million team option (per and rely more on a younger, athletic player such as Tarik Black, a tenacious rebounder who is set to earn $845,000 next season.

The Lakers hope to draft wisely next month and make good use of free agency this summer. Keeping the inconsistent Hill as their starting center at such a high price tag while mining for additional help on the front line just doesn't make a lot of sense.

While Hill has built a reputation for short bursts of high energy on the boards and an improving mid-range shot, he has not improved enough to warrant the team picking up and paying his inflated option at $9 million.

Although Hill averaged career highs last season in minutes (26.8), points (13.9) and rebounds (10), there was much inconsistency along the way. He took a few steps backward and seemed to run out of gas on numerous occasions.

Hill's numbers dipped in January to 10.7 points and only six boards. He relied much more on a mid-range jump shot, which brought his shooting percentage down to just 46 percent for the season, a big drop from his mark of 55 percent in 2013-14.

According to, Hill's propensity for shooting away from the basket grew dramatically in 2014-15. He took about 20 percent of his shots from mid-range in the 2013-14 season. That number jumped to 47 percent this past season, and he converted on just 38 percent of the attempts.

So, while Hill's scoring and rebounding numbers increased with his minutes, his overall play digressed a little, creating an opening for the likes of Black and Ed Davis.


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