The Nets could use a $5.25 million disabled player exception in order to acquire the Lakers big man, who has never been able to find a comfortable spot within the framework of head coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense. If they choose to use this provision, they have until March 10 in order to do so.
Despite the exception, the Nets would have delve further into luxury tax territory in order to acquire Hill. Currently, they have a payroll of over $100 million, which puts them $42.8 million over the salary cap. Bringing in Hill would mean an additional $17 million cap hit when considering the luxury tax.
But despite a 24-27 record at the All-Star break, Brooklyn is looking toward the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Though the D’Antoni-led Lakers haven’t been able to maximize Hill’s talent, he’s shown what he can do when given the opportunity in the right system. In 52 games including 19 starts during the 2013-14 season, he’s averaged a career-high 8.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in just 19.5 minutes.
What’s more is that he’s an elite rebounder, and the Nets are 29th in the NBA in total rebounds and 24th in offensive rebounding percentage. Hill’s a player who’s still getting better entering the prime of his career and could provide the youth and energy they need at that spot.
As for the Lakers, the Nets could offer up valuable assets for the near future as they’re clearly out of contention this season. As it stands now, Hill is unlikely to re-sign with Los Angeles if D’Antoni remains the head coach. Given that line of thinking, it would be in their best interest to try to get some value for him. Fortunately in their case, the Nets may be an ideal suitor.
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