The one trade that seemed to shock everyone at the NBA trade deadline was the Los Angeles Lakers dealing five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Jordan Hill. With no rumors circulating around about Fisher’s possible departure or a deal with the Rockets other than to acquire Kyle Lowry in a swap for Pau Gasol, the trade took a lot of people by surprising and left a lot of Lakers fans scratching their heads.
Even though the Lakers lost their leader in the locker room and one of the most respected players in the storied franchise’s history, the move was made to save money moving forward. Fortunately, even though they weren’t able to acquire Michael Beasley from the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakers did receive a talented young player in big man Jordan Hill.
According to Ben Bolch of the L.A. Times, Jordan Hill was cleared to play on Sunday night and was not used by head coach Mike Brown:
Jordan Hill was cleared to play for the Lakers on Sunday when Derek Fisher took a buyout from Houston, a development that occurred about 72 hours after the Rockets swapped Hill for Fisher and a first-round draft pick.
Lakers Coach Mike Brown acknowledged that it could be tough for the third-year forward out of Arizona to get significant playing time because he is behind reserve big men Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts on the depth chart.
“Those are two veteran guys in front of him,” Brown said, “so it’s not as easy to just say, ‘Hey, you know what, Josh and Troy, you guys played well for us but we’ve got this new young guy coming in so he’s going to play in front of you.'”
With Murphy and McRoberts ahead of him, there is a good chance that Hill could be the next Jason Kapono or Luke Walton in terms of playing time. That may very well change if he can prove to Coach Brown what he can do on the floor in limited minutes. With the reputation as a tough high-energy player, there might be room to fit Hill into the rotation in the near future.