As part of a string moves following being declared out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, the Los Angeles Lakers re-signed veteran big man Jordan Hill 0n Friday afternoon to a two-year, $18 million deal, according to ESPN.com.
The second year of the contract holds a team option.
The 26-year-old has spent the last two and a half seasons with the Lakers after being acquired in a trade deadline deal from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Derek Fisher. Despite the team going through its worst regular season in franchise history since moving to Los Angeles, he had a career-best season as he posted career-highs in points (9.7), rebounds (7.4), starts (32), and minutes played (20.8).
This also included recording several personal achievements such as most double-doubles in a season (15), notching a career-best 28 points against the Orlando Magic on March 23, posting a career-high in rebounds (17) and field goals made (11) against the Detroit Pistons on November 17, and scoring 20-plus points on seven different occasions for the first time in his career.
The Lakers’ decision to sign Hill to a contract maybe have been a result of Pau Gasol rejecting two offers to re-sign with the team this past week. At the moment, the five-year veteran is projected next season to be the starting center alongside rookie Julius Randle in the frontcourt with Robert Sacre as his backup. Los Angeles on Friday also inked Nick Young to a four-year, $21.5 million deal, and acquired Rockets guard Jeremy Lin and their 2015 first round pick.
The move to re-sign Hill still gives the team flexibility next offseason as they can choose to decline his option for the 2015-16 season, which would free up $9 million. This along with both Steve Nash‘s $9.7 million contract and Lin’s $8.7 million set to be off the books will allow the Lakers to once again attempt to lure a top free agent to the team. Los Angeles could also use his potentially expiring contract in a trade, but only if Hill agrees to a deal as he would be giving up his bird rights if moved to another team.
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