Jordan Hill to the Lakers: Breaking Down LA's New Lineup After Trade Deadline
The trade deadline came and went, thus leaving Pau Gasol in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. That was one of the few things that stayed the same.
The Lakers brought life to an otherwise lackluster day by acquiring Jordan Hill and Ramon Sessions while trading Jason Kapono and Luke Walton. Oh, and they also traded away locker-room leader Derek Fisher and both of their 2012 first-round draft picks.
While the quality of the trades can be debated, what they now possess on their roster cannot be changed. What better to do than evaluate the roster, then?
Point Guard: Ramon Sessions
With the acquisition of Ramon Sessions, the Los Angeles Lakers offense is almost certain to hit a groove.
Sessions is averaging more assists per game than any other Laker, and he's done so while playing just 24.5 minutes per game. He's also a capable shooter, penetrator and underrated rebounder.
This acquisition will make the Lakers a better team through and through.
Projected Playing Time: 33.0 minutes per game
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant
Considering Kobe Bryant has played in the league for 16 years and won five NBA Championships, it's pretty surprising that Ramon Sessions may be the best facilitator he's ever played with.
Alongside Sessions, who also requires attention for his ability to score, Bryant should see a statistical increase. He should also raise his shooting percentage, increase his number of shot attempts from in close and most importantly, be tasked with a greatest defensive effort.
Projected Playing Time: 36.9 minutes per game
Small Forward: Metta World Peace
Metta World Peace is shooting poorly, grabbing a career-low in steals and struggling to define his role as a player. With that being said, the man formerly known as Ron Artest has certainly improved his level of play since being reinstated to the starting lineup.
In fact, World Peace has posted his highest scoring, rebounding and steal totals all year in the month of March. With Sessions and Jordan Hill in tow, expect such a trend to continue.
Projected Playing Time: 30.5 minutes per game
Power Forward: Pau Gasol
After months of trade speculation, Pau Gasol is officially safe and sound in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. Now that he's back, expect him to step his game up to his usual level of play and develop a nice chemistry with Sessions.
Expect Gasol to see an increase in points and field goal percentage with Session's drive-and-dish approach.
Projected Playing Time: 35.5 minutes per game
Center: Andrew Bynum
No one will benefit from Ramon Session's presence quite like Andrew Bynum.
Bynum is the most likely to play with Sessions for an extended period of time. He's also the team's best offensive rebounder, something pivotal as Sessions draws defenders with his penetrating ability. His rebounding and scoring numbers could see an increase.
Projected Playing Time: 36.0 minutes per game
New Addition: Jordan Hill, Forward/Center
Jordan Hill is a talented defender who makes up for his size disadvantage with extra effort. If he wants solid playing time, however, he'll need to make sure that effort doesn't lead to fouls.
With the Lakers, Hill will have the benefit of occasionally sharing court time with either Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum. When they're not on the floor, he and Josh McRoberts would combine to make a high-energy tandem that could truly disrupt an opponent's rhythm.
Projected Playing Time: 17.3 minutes per game
New Addition: Christian Eyenga, Guard/Forward
Christian Eyenga is a 22-year-old freak athlete who can dunk it with the best of them. He's also an excellent shot blocker who can contribute on the defensive end of the floor.
The areas Eyenga must improve upon include his ball-handling, jump shooting and rebounding skills. Pretty strange areas to improve for such an incredible athlete, but that's how it is.
Projected Playing Time: 11.5 minutes per game