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Lakers Decline Team Option On Jordan Hill

JUNE 30TH, 1:24pm: The team indeed passed on his option, so Hill will become an unrestricted free agent, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).

4:32pm: The Lakers have told Hill it most likely won’t pick up his option, though the formal decision can wait until midnight, tweets Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

JUNE 29TH, 2:08pm: The team has told Hill it won’t be picking up his option, league sources said to Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter).

JUNE 19TH, 12:11pm: The Lakers are likely to turn down their team option to retain Jordan Hill at a salary of $9MM next season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski cautions that the team has yet to make a final decision, but league sources let him know that momentum is strong toward the Lakers letting Hill enter free agency. The deadline for a formal choice is June 29th.

Declining the option wouldn’t give the Lakers the immediate ability to clear extra cap room, and in fact would infringe on them doing so, since his cap hold would shoot up to $13.5MM. However, the Lakers could renounce their Bird rights to him to wipe that cap hold from the books, even though the Lakers could have interest in re-signing him if they miss out on their star targets, Wojnarowski writes. They’d have to use cap space or an exception to bring him back in that scenario.

Marquee free agents the Lakers would like to sign include LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Goran Dragic, Wojnarowski notes. The Lakers have about $35MM in guaranteed salary already on the books, so they wouldn’t have much trouble squeezing one of them under the projected $67.1MM cap if they picked up Hill’s option. However, letting him go would let the Lakers chase a star as well as a secondary target like DeMarre Carroll, in whom they also reportedly have interest. The notion that the Lakers are inclined to let go of Hill gives deference to the idea that the team has zeroed in on Jahlil Okafor as its primary target for the No. 2 pick, assuming the Timberwolves draft Karl-Anthony Towns first overall, though that’s just my speculation.

Hill, a BDA Sports Management client, is coming off a career year. The five-year veteran poured in 12.0 points per game this past season, the first in which he’s put up a double-digit scoring average. His 7.9 rebounds and 26.8 minutes per game, as well as his 57 starts, are also career highs.

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10 thoughts on “Lakers Decline Team Option On Jordan Hill

  1. Jacob

    Smart Decision that indicates Lakers will draft a big and go after a wing hard in free agency.

    • Chuck Myron

      Agreed, although they haven’t made the final decision yet, apparently. That would still lend some degree of mystery to the draft pick, though I’d speculate that even this development is another hint at their plans.

  2. Did they ever explore using his large non-guaranteed contract to entice a trade with a team looking for luxury tax or cap relief?

    • Chuck Myron

      Harder to do that because his contract includes a true team option, not non-guaranteed salary. I wouldn’t be surprised if one reason they’re waiting to make a final decision on the option has to do with that very possibility, however.

  3. Adderlyn

    Well, is undestandable move, but i hope they don’t lose him, could happen the same thing happened with Gasol last year.

  4. Worrell

    Hill was a good player for LA but I think they should move on from him because he’s expensive plus Davis & Black are solid… In my opinion Hill would be a decent fit for NY they should bring him back.

    • Meep

      Well lakers don’t have Davis at the moment they have to resign him first. Hill for 9 mill not worth it. Lakers are doing the right thing

  5. Showtime

    Bad Move…Best player Lakers had last year…Best Big Man, too…Better than Sacre, Black, Wesley, and Davis….#Consistent

    • Meep

      Well they don’t want to give him 9 mill. When they can give that to someone way better. No he not better then Davis Sure hill can rebound and can score. But Davis the better rim protecter. Scare stay because he a decent back up for very very cheap price. I’m not sure of black still on the team. As for Wes he a free agent so don’t worry about him

  6. Rick Y

    Blame one man: Kobe “25.5 million this season” Bryant for all of these problems.

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