Lakers Rumors: L.A. Must Continue to Pursue Jordan Hill

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJuly 18, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19:  Jordan Hill #27 helps up Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 19 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

We've gotten to the point of free agency where the signings are anything but sexy. 

Sure, the Los Angeles Lakers are still reportedly—according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears—in talks for Dwight Howard, but at this point I'm convinced the Dwightmare isn't real anymore. I could have sworn that I had seen him play before, but now I see he's just a fictional character the media are feeding off of.

That has to be it. 

Until I actually see Howard in a different jersey, I'm forced to talk about Antawn Jamison, Jermaine O'Neal and Jordan Hill.

The Killer J's, as they are better known. 

According to Spears, all three are targets of Mitch Kupchak:

Lakers could be landing forward Antawn Jamison & center Jermaine O'Neal to minimum deals, sources tell Y! Jordan Hill interest remains, too.

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 17, 2012

According to Sports Illustrated, Jamison agreed to a one-year deal with the Lakers on Wednesday. Regardless of their acquistion of Jamison and interest in O'Neal, they'll still have interest in Hill (via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell):

Buss is reiterating Mitch Kupchak's comments that the team would like to re-sign Jordan Hill.

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) July 17, 2012

This would be the correct move by Los Angeles. 

At this point the goal is to improve a bench that was so disappointing for Lakers fans last season.

Jamison, who can put up double-digit points in his sleep, clearly is a large step toward improving the second unit. What the 14-year veteran doesn't do, however, is provide defense and energy.

Enter Jordan Hill.

The former Arizona Wildcat, in just 14.1 minutes per game with the Rockets and Lakers last season, put up an impressive 4.8 rebounds, 0.4 steals and 0.7 blocks per game, and those numbers even improved in L.A., where Hill looked revitalized.

Extrapolate those numbers to 36 minutes, and you have 12.2 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. The sample size is small, sure, but those number are actually similar to what Hill has done his entire career.

Throw in the fact the 24-year-old—it's hard to imagine that Hill is only 24—is still improving, and it's clear he is an underrated commodity.

Hill is not going to score like Jamison, but his youth, energy, rebounding and defense complement the 36-year-old very well.

Together, they would make for an effective second-unit frontcourt.

Again, it's not sexy.

But when you have a starting lineup of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, the only thing left to improve is the bench.