Once the Los Angeles Lakers acquired forward Jordan Hill from the Houston Rockets in exchange for five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher before the NBA trade deadline back in March, the 27-year-old wasn’t exactly accepted with open arms by Lakers fans. Not only was the initial shock of the Fisher trade a lot for fans to handle in Los Angeles, but few knew of Hill and what he’d bring to the table.
Fortunately, the trade turned out to be another smart move by GM Mitch Kupchak as it became clear late in the regular season and throughout the playoffs that Hill was a valuable asset off the bench for the Lakers.
Despite Hill beginning to make an impression on his new team in limited minutes for Lakers coach Mike Brown, the up-and-coming forward was hit with an assault charge by a former girlfriend and was facing up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the crime.
Hill was able to continue playing for the Lakers during the playoffs, but his fate was up in the air with a lot of uncertainty surrounding his future. Even with his recent legal troubles, Hill received some interest in free agency from the Minnesota Timberwolves, but ultimately re-signed with the Lakers with a two-year deal worth $7 million.
Hill’s attorney, Rusty Hardin Jr., spoke with Ben Bolch of the L.A. Times about his client’s legal situation and claims to be working on getting some resolution before training camp opens for the Lakers on Oct. 2:
“I hope within the next week or two we can get something done,” attorney Rusty Hardin Jr. said in a telephone interview.
“There’s not going to be a trial during the season,” Hardin said, “not because he’s a [pro] basketball player but because of the normal progression of the trial setting. It would be sometime next year.”
With no trial until next year, Hill can concentrate on his role with the Lakers. This is great news for both the player and the team as Hill’s legal troubles will not be a distraction moving forward.
Hill will most likely see a lot of time on the floor right out of the gate with Dwight Howard potentially still unable to go while he continues to rehab from back surgery. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year has said that he won’t play until he’s 100 percent and currently has no timetable set for his return.
In case you missed it – Lakers LRT chats about the Clippers and the L.A. rivalry:
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