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2014 New York Knicks Free Agency Outlook: Jordan Hill

June 17th, 2014 at 5:28 PM
By Matt Agne

Knowing that the New York Knicks will be limited with the funds they have to spend this off-season many are looking at players that are available with experience under Phil Jackson, in the triangle offense or former Knicks and Lakers. Jordan Hill has played for both New York and Los Angeles. Could he accept the mid-level exception and come back to the Knicks next season?

'Josh Shipp & Kevin Love' photo (c) 2008, J R - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Jordan Hill was drafted eighth overall by the New York Knicks in the 2009 NBA Draft. The 6'10", 235 pound big man showed a great motor and flashes of what made him a lottery pick but struggled to earn playing time under Mike D'Antoni. He was included in a trade to the Houston Rockets for Tracy McGrady and played there from 2010-12. Hill was drafted by Houston at the deadline to the Los Angeles Lakers and has played there since 2012.

'UCLA vs Arizona' photo (c) 2009, J R - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/This past season, Hill stood out in a forgettable season for the Lakers. He was able to average 9.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 20.8 minutes per game. In 72 games he was able to shoot 55% from the field. His per-36 numbers project to 16.7 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.

Hill displayed his rebounding and defensive ability while continuing to hustle on both sides of the court as one of the NBA's best energy players. Unfortunately for him, the Lakers are coached by D'Antoni.

Hill isn't exactly enjoying being under D'Antoni again. Instead of growing and being given minutes he found himself watching D’Antoni give Chris Kaman and Pau Gasol a chance to start together.

'Kevin Love defending Jordan Hill' photo (c) 2008, J R - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/D’Antoni's return as Lakers coach almost certainly cemented Hill’s departure from Los Angeles. Could the Knicks get Hill to accept their $3.09 million a season mid-level exception? If they can they'd be getting a young player coming into his own who can be very productive when given the opportunity.

While it's true that Hill has no experience in the triangle offense or playing under Jackson he's only 26 years old and could fit in the Knicks new system as a center nicely. 

Hill was part of the trade that took Derek Fisher out of Los Angeles. Maybe Fisher could return the favor and take Hill out of Los Angeles and bring him back to New York where his career started.

Tags: Basketball, Derek Fisher, Jordan Hill, Los Angeles Lakers, Mike D'antoni, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Phil Jackson

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