After a breakthrough second-half to his 2012 season, Hill came in to the 2013 season with a new two-year, $7 million contract and a great chance to succeed as a role player off the bench. His first two months were about on track with what we were expecting from him, as he posted averages of almost seven points and six rebounds per game. However, early into the month of January, the injury bug bit yet again as Hill was feared to have been lost for the year with a hip injury. Hill made it back in time to play in the Lakers’ final three postseason games, but couldn’t contribute like he was accustomed to doing. Nonetheless, Jordan Hill is one of the Lakers few young, athletic players they have, and unless they are offered a deal that blows them away, don’t expect him to be going anywhere.
Chances Hill Returns: 90%
Coming into this past season, Earl Clark was thought of as just a throw-in as part of the Dwight Howard trade and somebody who the Lakers would only use as a human victory cigar. However, whenever a team is plagued by injuries, someone has to fill in. In this instance, that someone was Earl Clark. He not only filled in, he starred, earning himself a spot in the rotation and even starting over Pau Gasol for a short time. Earl ended the season as anything but a human victory cigar as he transformed from a worthless bench player to one of the few bright spots for the Lakers.
Clark has already said he’d be willing to return, even if it meant a lesser role than he could get elsewhere. One team that will try to pry Clark away from them is the Cleveland Cavaliers, as they reportedly have made Clark one of their top off-season priorities.
The Lakers need Clark, as he is one of the few athletic players they have, and luckily is a restricted free agent. Unfortunately, the Cavaliers have plenty of cap room and if they offer Clark too large of a contract, the Lakers may be forced to let him go.