When the Lakers wildly overpaid Jordan Hill $9 million last season, with a team option for this season, the idea was to create a salary that could be a trade chip. The hope was Jordan’s salary would become part of a deal to bring a quality player to the Lakers, and the team that traded for Jordan would not pick up the option and save cap space.
It didn’t work out that way, no deal involving Jordan materialized.
Instead, the Lakers are going to get that cap space. The Lakers are not likely to pick up Hill’s $9 million option for next season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.com.
As the Los Angeles Lakers maneuver to free $24 million-plus of salary cap space for summer free agency, the franchise is unlikely to exercise the option on forward Jordan Hill’s contract for the 2015-16 season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Lakers are not obligated to make a final determination on the $9 million owed on Hill’s contract before June 30, but momentum is strong that they’ll allow Hill to enter into free agency, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Hill started 57 games for the Lakers and averaged 12 points and 7.9 rebounds a game. You can’t fully trust his midrange game, but he can pop and not just roll off the pick. He can play solid defense in the paint, is athletic, and appears to have worked out off-the-court issues. He’d make a decent reserve big man somewhere.
He’s just not going to make $9 million again.
And if the Lakers draft Jahlil Okafor at the No. 2 spot, there would be far fewer minutes for Hill anyway.
There will certainly be interest in Hill in the $4 million to $5 million range, and the Lakers may well be among the teams interested. They liked him. Just not at that price.