Despite declining his team option worth $9 million only a day earlier, the Lakers expressed interest in re-signing Jordan Hill as a free agent, according to a league source familiar with the situation. Hill’s representatives also fielded “several calls” from other interested teams, according to the league source.
By waiving Hill’s team option, the Lakers secured $23 million to spend in free agency. They can also re-sign Hill at a discounted price, though it remains uncertain considering the team’s glut of power forwards in Julius Randle, Ryan Kelly, Tarik Black and Larry Nance Jr. Ed Davis also declined to exercise a player option worth $1.1 million. The Lakers want to retain him, though that might not happen if Davis fields more lucrative offers elsewhere.
The Lakers have centered their free agency focus on high-caliber front-court players. The Lakers met with Portland center LaMarcus Aldridge on Tuesday night in Los Angeles and plan to meet with Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday. If the Lakers secured either player, they would likely have to devote $18.8 million of their cap space. Both would likely command a max salary, as high as a four-year deal worth $80 million.
Despite Hill posting career highs in points (12), rebounds (7.9), starts (57) and minutes (26.8), the Lakers became frustrated with his inconsistency. The Lakers and Hill both attributed those struggles to adapting to heavy playing time and struggles with his diet.
The Lakers acquired Hill from the Houston Rockets in 2012 as part of a mid-season trade involving Derek Fisher.