Although he would love to re-sign with the Lakers, forward Jordan Hill will likely sign with a team that offers him a stable role and a multi-year deal, according to a league source familiar with his thinking.
The Lakers have only definitively ruled out seldom-used forward MarShon Brooks as the lone free agent on the team, according to a league source, and interest in the 11 remaining free agents on the roster will largely hinge on two external factors. Those entail how the Lakers fare in their pursuit of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony as well as what offers the Lakers’ free agents receive elsewhere.
The Lakers are very unlikely to grant any role player, including Hill, a deal spanning three or four years. The Lakers would like to maximize cap flexibility for Kevin Love in 2015 and Kevin Durant in 2016.
Hill’s chances of remaining with the Lakers initially appeared slim. Despite posting a career-high 9.7 points and 7.8 rebounds in the 2013-14 season, Hill grew frustrated with Mike D’Antoni’s system that featured him having a fluctuating role partly because of his preference for a so-called “small ball” system. The Lakers also believed Hill was not an ideal fit for D’Antoni’s system.
With D’Antoni’s departure, Hill’s chances of returning to the Lakers have increased. But there’s also various complicating factors. The Lakers drafted Kentucky power forward Julius Randle, a bruising post player who could take away Hill’s minutes. Hill’s preference for a long-term deal also contradicts the Lakers’ preferences for small-term deals.