The Lakers inquired about Jordan Hill, who had become their first big man off the bench late in the season, “in the first few minutes” of the free agency period Saturday night, said his agent, Kevin Bradbury.
“Just talking about their sincere interest in having Jordan back with the Lakers and when we could start talking about making that happen,” Bradbury said.
Bradbury said the Lakers were one of four or five teams to express interest in the 6-foot-10, 235-pound power forward.
Asked if Hill had a preference for where he would like to play next season, Bradbury said, “I don’t think anyone would not want to go back and play for the Lakers, one of the great franchises in the history of the NBA.”
The Lakers hold Hill’s partial “Bird rights,” meaning they can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him.
The Lakers acquired Hill in March at the trade deadline in what amounted to a salary dump involving Derek Fisher and a first-round draft pick that was also sent to the Houston Rockets.
Hill, 24, became a free agent when Houston decided not to pick up his $3.6-million option for next season before trading him to the Lakers.
The former lottery pick was a force late in the regular season and during the Lakers’ first-round playoff series against Denver, with three double-doubles in a six-game span, before fading in the Western Conference semifinals against Oklahoma City. He averaged 3.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in that series against the Thunder.
Overall, Hill averaged 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in seven regular-season games with the Lakers before those averages increased to 4.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in the playoffs.
Hill also has an uncertain legal future. He faces third-degree felony charges for allegedly choking his girlfriend in February in Houston. Hill could spend up to 10 years in prison if convicted.