The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to let Jordan Hill test the free agent market. It’s a move many expected as the team is trying to create cap room for a run at some of basketball’s top players.
This decision by the Lakers gives Hill the opportunity to sign with any NBA team. And he should be considered a top target for many rosters, especially in Cleveland. The Cavaliers saw huge contributions from Tristan Thompson during their run in the NBA Playoffs. But, It is now expected that the free agent fourth-year NBA veteran is seeking a max deal from Cleveland.
This puts the Cavs in a precarious position.
Thompson’s main strength is his rebounding. He paced the Cavaliers with 4.4 offensive boards in the playoffs, and was a huge factor in the team’s NBA Finals run. Although, is a player that averaged 6.5 field goals a game during that same stretch of play worth maximum money? Probably not.
That’s where Jordan Hill comes into play. Last season, Hill only cost the Lakers $9 million, a far cry from the maximum deal Thompson is seeking. Hill amassed 12 points a game for the Lakers during the 2014-15 campaign and contributed 2.5 offensive rebounds. Thompson is obviously the more attractive option when taking stats, age, and athleticism into account but is it worth the extra money?
Hill and Thompson aren’t known for their scoring ability, as both have made a reputation for being active on the boards. The Cavs are trying to win now, and the Finals exposed their extremely thin roster. Saving money by signing the more experienced Hill would enable the team to obtain other quality veterans that could help fill positions on the team’s bench.
If any team has Tristan Thompson on its off-season radar they might want to have Hill as a back-up plan. He isn’t the same player as Thompson, but he is a very capable, and cheaper, substitute.
Let’s just hope Cavs G.M. David Griffin has the same thought process.