Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Los Angeles Lakers [Print without images]

Friday, May 23, 2014
Lakers player reviews: Jordan Hill

By Dave McMenamin

Jordan Hill
Jordan Hill showed flashes of his potential, but his game didn't fit Mike D'Antoni's system.

Jordan Hill

2013-14 salary: $3,500,000 | Age: 26 | Season stats: 9.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG.

Season recap: With the season already a wash, Hill put up mighty impressive individual numbers in April -- averaging 16.6 points on 53.5 percent shooting from the field and 80.6 percent from the foul line, along with 10.1 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.0 steals in 29 minutes per game. While it didn't help the Lakers to many wins, it was an impressive run by the former lottery pick that had been mostly streaky since L.A. acquired him. Hill had it tough, however, for most of the season as his game and Mike D'Antoni's system were not a natural fit. Hill tried to add a perimeter jump shot to his skill set and could go to it in practice but never became comfortable enough to execute it during games.

Season highlight: Hill had a couple of All-Star-type games in late March, putting up 28 points and 13 rebounds against Orlando and then 28 points and 16 rebounds against Milwaukee two games later.

Season lowlight: After having his 2012-13 season derailed by a hip surgery, Hill was able to stay mostly healthy until February when he missed eight straight games because of a right leg injury. D'Antoni would often try to limit his minutes to protect Hill from hurting himself with his aggressive style of play.

Final grade: B

Notes: When Hill's name was being dangled at the trade deadline involving a potential deal with Brooklyn, the fifth-year veteran let it be known he had no problem being moved, so long as the deal would involve more playing time. The funny thing is that while Hill didn't feel he was getting a fair shake in D'Antoni's system, he ended up averaging career highs across the board with the opportunity his coach gave him.

Quotable: "I definitely wouldn't mind coming back here. I had a great time with the team, with the staff. But I don't know what's going to happen. There were a lot of ups and downs this season, so this summer, I'm definitely going to see how it pans out and see where I'm going to be at." -- Hill after his exit interview.

What's next? Hill showed loyalty to the Lakers after first coming to the team from Houston in a deal for Derek Fisher, opting to sign a two-year extension when more lucrative offers were on the table because he felt as if he was finally given a chance to show what he had to offer in L.A. This summer will show if that loyalty has worn off after a couple of disappointing seasons, or if he will be filling one of the dozen empty spots on the roster the Lakers have to target by training camp.