Lakers News: When Will Jordan Hill Return? Can The Lakers Add Another Player?

Jordan Hill
Jordan Hill was drafted by the New York Knicks in 2009. Reuters

The Los Angeles Lakers were quiet at the deadline, making no moves to shake up their team.

Now, it appears that the club will stand pat for the rest of the season.

A Lakers team spokesman has announced that the organization will let their disabled player exception expire. L.A. applied for the $1.8 million exception in January when it learned that Jordan Hill would miss the rest of the season. There have been reports that Hill could return to action if the Lakers advance deep into the playoffs.

It was first thought that a hip injury would keep Hill out for only a short while, but it was later discovered that he would need surgery. The former first-round draft pick averaged 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 29 games with Los Angeles.

By not using the exception, the Lakers won’t be able to use the $1.8 million to sign a free agent. They could have used it in a trade, before the Feb. 21 deadline passed.

With just over a month remaining in the season, it’s unlikely that the Lakers will add a new piece. The most they can spend in free agency is their $1.59 million mid-level exception. They can also sign a player to a 10-day contract, but there aren’t many available players that would make a significant impact.

Head coach Mike D’Antoni had reportedly been interested in signing Raja Bell, who was recently released by the Utah Jazz. The 36-year-old wouldn’t be eligible to play in the postseason, since he was let go after March 1. His inability to help the Lakers in the playoffs might rule him out as a potential signee.

At this point, L.A. might not be interested in shaking up their roster. The club is playing better than they have all season, winning 17 of their last 23 games. The Lakers victory in Dwight Howard’s return to Orlando put them a half-game ahead of the Jazz for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Towards the end of the month, Los Angeles should be getting back a player that would have much more impact than any potential free agent. Pau Gasol continues to rehab from his foot injury, and will likely return before the end of the month.

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