Los Angeles Lakers: Jordan Hill to Return to Team

July 20, 2012 – 10:12 pm by Ryan Phillips

One of the many moves the Los Angeles Lakers have been pursuing this offseason was re-signing free agent forward Jordan Hill. According to Hill’s agent, the 24-year-old will be back with the Lakers next season after agreeing to a two-year, $8 million contract.

Hill came to Los Angeles at the trade deadline in a deal that sent Derek Fisher to the Houston Rockets. He played in just seven regular season games with the Lakers, but earned postseason playing time because of his energy and rebounding.

In 12 playoff games, Hill averaged 4.8 points and 6.3 rebounds.

The 6’10” forward was selected with the No. 8 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks but never really found a consistent spot in the rotation there or in Houston after he was sent to the Rockets in 2010. The Arizona product is athletic and can rebound, while his defense and all-around offensive game need to develop. He has only played in 158 regular season games over his first three NBA seasons.

With Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum on the roster, Hill made himself an invaluable backup in the postseason. He should get solid second-unit minutes this year and will likely be first in line off the bench if either of the two starters get injured.

Hill had a free agent visit with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but opted to return to Los Angeles.

The Lakers added veteran Antawn Jamison earlier this week and re-signed Devin Ebanks as well. They are clearly trying to beef up their second unit, which was one of the NBA’s worst last season. Hill’s return will continue that improvement.

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