Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Jordan Hill Playing for Extension?

By Michael Pidgeon
Hill and Gasol
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers‘ offseason plans are slowly beginning to become clearer as days go by. L.A. just extended Kobe Bryant for two more years but still have money to sign the likes of Carmelo Anthony. Outside of Bryant, only Steve Nash and Robert Sacre have guaranteed contracts for 2014. With Nash’s health issues, retirement is slowly becoming an option for the future member of the NBA Hall of Fame, and if L.A. decides to waive Nash it will help their salary cap situation as well.

Pau Gasol‘s contract comes off the books after the season, and the odds of Gasol returning to the Lakers are slim to none. One member of the current Lakers’ squad that is slowly showing signs of deserving an extension is forward Jordan Hill. Could we see Hill in Gasol’s spot of the rotation in 2014?

Hill is averaging eight minutes less than Gasol per game but has a higher PER — 22.4 compared to 16.1. Pau averages more points and rebounds, but that is due to the eight extra minutes per game. Hill has come on strong lately and has even been starting next to Gasol in the Lakers’ starting rotation.

If Hill continues lifting his level of play he may be doing enough to earn himself an extension and the starting power forward role in the 2014 starting rotation. The one thing that still needs to be questioned is how Bryant’s return will affect Hill. If he is unable to maintain his level of play with Bryant on the court then extension talks aren’t necessary and Hill may end up getting his walking papers this offseason as well.

Hill is still young enough to make an impact for the Lakers during his career, and his performance thus far this season may just be the beginning of a good thing in L.A.

Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at black24mamba@aol.com

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