Filling voids in their current roster, the Los Angeles Lakers re-signed free agent forward Jordan Hill and shooting guard Nick Young to multi- year contracts today, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com‘s Dave McMenamin.
After failing to land LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers and general manager Mitch Kupchak announced the re-signing of two important pieces to the Lakers’ future. Although the Lakers will rely heavily on Hill’s tenacity and rebounding this season, alongside first year forward Julius Randle, the Lakers may have overpaid the five-year veteran.
Last season, Hill averaged 9.7 points and 7.4 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game for the Lakers, while shooting 55 percent from the field. There is no question Hill deserved to be re-signed, and possibly to a longer contract. However, the Lakers decided to overpay Hill with a two-year deal worth $18 million; vintage Kupchak.
At $9 million per year, Hill will need to develop his offensive game and not settle for those perimeter shots he seemed to fall in love with toward the end of last season. Hill may see an increase in his production with a new head coach and possibly more playing time next season.
With the over payment of Hill, the Lakers may not have enough to attract another big name forward like veteran center Greg Monroe. According to reports, veteran forward Pau Gasol turned down a two-year deal worth a reported $20 million to stay in Los Angeles. If Gasol is in fact on his way out, the Lakers should use that potential contract to lure Monroe over.
Not to be outdone, Young received a reported four-year deal worth $21.5 million, according to reports.
Although Young previously admitted he would take a pay cut when he opted to become a free agent in June, the Lakers decided to give the Southern California native market value for his career-best efforts in his first season in Los Angeles.
Last season, Young averaged a career-best 17.9 points and 2.6 rebounds, but only 1.6 assists per game. With Kobe Bryant scheduled to return this season, don’t be surprised to see an increase in assists for Young.
While it may be too early to tell if Hill and Young will continue to improve in Los Angeles, it is a known fact that both deserved to be re-signed. However, once again Kupchak might have overpaid for their services.