Friday night Jordan Hill showed up in street clothes to Staples Center and didn’t look good limping down the hall. Slowly. It hurt to watch him walk.
Turns out it was with good reason — he needs hip surgery and will be out for the season, the Lakers reported.
After seeing the team doctor and a hip specialist it was determined he had loose fragments as well as a possible labral tear, the Lakers announced. Basically, it makes it painful to walk, let alone run and jump. The only way to fix it is surgery that will cost him the rest of the season.
Nobody is going to confuse Hill with an elite big man, but when he would enter games for the Lakers and sub out the older, banged-up bodies of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, you saw a jump in energy. Hill hustled. The Lakers will miss that. They also are not exactly deep with quality along the front line and while Earl Clark has had a nice couple games this is a blow an already struggling team didn’t need.
With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.
The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.
And so the search goes on.
The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.
With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.
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