Jordan Hill of the Los Angeles Lakers is one of the hardest players to figure out in all of the NBA. One game he looks like an All-Star, the next he looks like a man who is short on confidence. Hill had a monster four-game stretch in November where he averaged 18.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game; it looked like he was the best player on the team.
Soon after the fifth-year man out of Arizona resembled a man playing injured or was just completely unmotivated. Suddenly the bounce in the step and the relentless elite offensive rebounding looked only above average from the rest of the league. For sure a curious case and looking back at it now it’s possible the numerous trade rumors and being on the last year of a contract could have distracted Hill from focusing on putting all effort on the basketball court.
Hill looked like he was going to be dealt to the Brooklyn Nets right before the deadline, but in a weird kind of way his stock had fell far enough that Brooklyn was unwilling to trade back any real assets, so in turn the Lakers balked and held onto him. Immediately after it was guaranteed he would finish out the season in Los Angeles, against the Boston Celtics, Hill registered his first double-double with two or more blocks since that dominant November period. He followed that up with another strong game against the Nets, the team that wouldn’t give up anything more than a trade exception for him.
It’s also entirely possible the All-Star break gave him the necessary energy as well, but if that’s the case you have to worry if he is a guy who can play starter minutes over the course of a full season. If Hill can play with the same intensity and effort he has shown the past two games, he will command a substantial multiyear deal with a club this summer in free agency.