As both teams endure disappointing seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets have been in trade discussions. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the sides have had talks about Jordan Hill.
The Nets could use Hill, who can play power forward or center. Brook Lopez is out for the season with a foot injury, and the team has struggled to replace him. Kevin Garnett is Brooklyn’s current starting center, forcing head coach Jason Kidd to go with a smaller lineup. Second-year power forward Mizra Teletovic has also seen a lot of playing time.
While Hill could help the Nets get a higher seed in the Eastern Conference, it would cost them a lot of money. Even though Hill is owed just $3.5 million on his expiring contract, Wojnarowski reports that adding him would force the organization to pay an additional $17 million in luxury tax penalties. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov has proven that he’s willing to spend money, paying more than $190 million this year in payroll and luxury tax. However, Hill might not be worth the price.
In his fifth NBA season, Hill is putting up the best numbers of his career. His 8.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 54.1 field goal percentage are all personal highs. Despite his improvement, Hill is expendable on a Lakers team that won’t make the playoffs. Unloading Hill would allow Los Angeles to get something in return for the big man, instead of losing him for nothing in the offseason. Wojnarowski’s report states that Hill isn’t likely to re-sign with L.A. if Mike D’Antoni is still the head coach.
The Lakers wouldn’t get anything of much value in exchange for Hill. They are looking to keep their payroll low for the upcoming free agency period. Hill has been involved in trade rumors, just like Pau Gasol, whose contract also expires in the summer.
The Lakers are reportedly looking to get a high first-round draft pick in exchange for Gasol, who could go to the Phoenix Suns. Hill would not net the Lakers a pick of similar value.
If Hill doesn’t go to the Nets, the organization may still be active on Thursday’s trade deadline. ESPN reports that Brooklyn discussed acquiring Jarrett Jack from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The potential swap would send Jason Terry to Cleveland.
The Cavaliers might be interested in getting some salary cap relief. Jack is signed through the 2016-2017 season, making $6.3 million each year. Terry’s contract will be up in 2015 when he earns $5.45 million. Brooklyn would make the trade to upgrade their backcourt. Terry looks like a shell of his former self, averaging career lows with 4.5 points, 1.6 assists and 36.2 percent field goal shooting. Jack’s numbers are down from last season when he finished third in the Sixth Man of the Year race. However, he would be an improvement at 8.5 points and 3.7 assists per game.
After trading for Garnett and Paul Pierce in the offseason, the Nets became one of the favorites to reach the NBA Finals. At the All-Star Break, they have the seventh-best record in the East at 24-27. The Lakers are tied for the worst mark in the West.