The endless trade chatter surrounding Dwight Howard being dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers is making a lot of headlines as of late with a potential blockbuster on the horizon. It appears that the acquisition of two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash may have been the beginning of an overhaul to create another perennial NBA title contender in Los Angeles.
Despite the fact that trade talks to acquire Howard are reportedly ongoing, the Lakers’ front office is addressing one of the major concerns of the off-season with upgrading the bench being a high priority.
According to Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, the first step in bolstering the weakness off the bench is re-signing forward Jordan Hill via Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News:
“Kupchak would neither confirm nor deny the talks. He said his immediate priority was to strengthen the Lakers’ bench, which is heavy with guards and thin on forwards at present. Hill’s re-signing appears to be atop Kupchak’s to-do list.”
If this is true, the Lakers are definitely headed in the right direction in terms of free agency with Hill definitely proving his worth during the NBA playoffs. Hill has received plenty of interest around the league over the past two weeks, but has been rumored to be leaning towards re-signing with the Lakers with a potentially big role as a backup to Bynum and or Pau Gasol.
Hill can earn up to $3.6 million for up to five years in a new deal with the Lakers.
The Lakers have been in talks with many different free agents since the beginning of the free agency period, and appear to have some options regardless of the contract limitations.
As for the free agent options in the frontcourt, the Lakers have expressed interest in a few veteran forwards and centers. The top priority moving forward is to re-sign Hill, but they’ll also consider bringing in Antawn Jamison, Jermaine O’Neal and or Anthony Tolliver.
The best option of the players list above is Jamison. Even though he’s a 16-year veteran, Jamison still puts up consistently good numbers and would greatly improve the Lakers’ offense off the bench. O’Neal and Tolliver are also viable options, but nothing more than backup plans at this point in time.