It almost became a swap for two big men. Power forward Jordan Hill will agree to a deal soon with the Indiana Pacers, according to a league source. Meanwhile, the Lakers recently acquired center Roy Hibbert in a trade from Indiana for a second-round pick.
Both sides are still working out the terms of Hill’s deal. But his expected arrival could help Indiana offset the loss of power forward David West, who took an $11 million paycut to join the San Antonio Spurs in hopes of winning an NBA championship.
The Lakers had expressed some interest in re-signing Hill as a free agent after declining his team option worth $9 million, according to a league source. But the chances of that happening seemed slim because of the team’s flood of power forwards, including Julius Randle, Ryan Kelly, Tarik Black and Larry Nance Jr. The Lakers could not attract any high-profile frontcourt players, including LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan. The Lakers also did not retain Ed Davis to keep cap space available for those aforementioned marquee free agents. Butt the Lakers also acquired 10-year veteran power forward Brandon Bass as well as Hibbert.
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.
The Lakers have not retained any of their free agents last summer, including Hill, Davis (Portland), Jeremy Lin (Charlotte), Wayne Ellington (Brooklyn), Ronnie Price (Phoenix) and Wesley Johnson (Clippers). Power forward Carlos Boozer remain unsigned.
The Sporting News first reported Hill’s plan to sign with the Pacers.