Sunday, July 1, 2012
Lakers reach out to Jordan Hill
By Dave McMenamin
Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was a busy man Saturday night when NBA free agency officially began at 9 p.m. PT.
Kupchak did not wait long before inquiring about Jordan Hill, according to his agent, Kevin Bradbury.
"It was a very good discussion," Bradbury said.
Hill, who turns 25 this month, became the first big man off coach Mike Brown's bench late in the season, contributing three double-doubles over the course of six games from the second to last game of the regular season through Game 4 of the Lakers' first-round series against the Denver Nuggets.
The Lakers hold partial Bird rights to him and can offer Hill a maximum of $3,632,450 a season for up to five years.
Bradbury said Hill was in South Carolina visiting with family Saturday and will travel to Minnesota to meet with Timberwolves officials Monday. The Wolves have nearly $20 million in cap space to use to sign free agents this offseason.
Bradbury said Golden State, Orlando, Phoenix and Miami all have called to inquire about Hill as well.
The Warriors can offer Hill the full mid-level exception. The Suns and the Magic can offer Hill more money per year than the Lakers as well. The Heat only have the mini mid-level exception available to offer, starting at $3 million a year.
Despite the palpable interest from outside teams, Bradbury expressed Hill's appreciation for the Lakers.
"He knows he wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them," Bradbury said. "It's the Lakers. Who wouldn't want to play for one of the game's best franchises?"
Overall, Hill averaged 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in seven regular-season games with L.A., increasing those numbers to 4.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in the postseason.