When given the opportunity this year, Jordan Hill has taken full advantage of the minutes. He once again put on a strong performance versus the Golden State Warriors, recording 18 points and 12 rebounds. Although the Los Angeles Lakers lost their 54th game of the season, positives can always be taken away in an audition-type season.
The majority of players on Los Angeles are currently on expiring deals. With a mere three games remaining, each of these players will certainly be looking to prove themselves as worthy of a contract extension as soon as they hit the open market. These players include multiple draft busts, former benchwarmers and old veterans who may be out of the league if it were not for the Lakers.
Hill was in the draft bust category, but has absolutely proven otherwise during his tenure as a member of the Lakers.
Hill was originally brought to Los Angeles at the trade deadline two years ago when he was traded in exchange for Derek Fisher and a first-round pick to the Houston Rockets. This trade was meant to create minutes for former Laker Ramon Sessions. However, the trade actually has turned out to be a home run in terms of acquiring a possible starting center for the future. Hill is averaging 16 points and 13 rebounds per 36 minutes in 69 games played, which is by far a career-best. These sort of numbers are up to par with some of the league’s best centers, including Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Drummond.
Although his defense is not yet as stellar as Howard’s, his potential is through the roof. If Hill can prove to be more consistent, he can possibly be considered amongst the NBA‘s greatest centers of present day.
The only bad news in this whole situation is that it will be extremely difficult to retain the services of Hill during the offseason. His recent performances have earned him one hefty contract. Plenty of teams are in desperate need of frontcourt production, and Hill can provide just that.