With the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, Jordan Hill recently expressed his desires to remain with the Los Angeles Lakers. Through the first half of the season, Hill is averaging career-highs across the board and numerous teams have expressed interest in the center.
While Hill’s name has come up in rumors with the Phoenix Suns and Oklahoma City Thunder, Sean Deveney of Sporting News says the Lakers are ‘highly unlikely’ to trade Hill by Thursday:
While Hill has been mentioned as a possible trade chip in the Lakers’ efforts to alter the roster going forward—his name has come up in connection with Goran Dragic of the Suns and Reggie Jackson of the Thunder—a source told Sporting News that it is, “highly unlikely,” that Hill will be traded before Thursday’s deadline.
Most executives believe if Hill is ultimately not traded by Thursday, the Lakers will pick up his option for next season:
Hill could become a free agent next summer if the Lakers choose not to pick up his option, worth $9 million, but most executives around the league think that, assuming Hill is not part of a blockbuster in the next 24 hours, the team will pick up his option for next season.
At the end of last season, most believed Hill would not re-sign with the Lakers after not getting consistent minutes. However, after the resignation of Mike D’Antoni and Pau Gasol signing with the Chicago Bulls, the center re-signed to a two year, $18 million contract where the Lakers hold a team option this upcoming off-season.
Despite straining a hip muscle that kept him out for five games, Hill is having a career-year by averaging 12.3 points and 8.0 rebounds. With less than 24 hours until the trade deadline, it will be interesting to see if the Lakers make any trades.[divide]