Lakers Nation Debate: Exercising Jordan Hill’s Option This Summer

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Orlando Magic

Topic: We wonder if, based on his play so far, the Lakers should exercise Jordan Hill’s team option, worth $9 million this summer.

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Context: The Los Angeles Lakers came into this season full of unknowns. Many players had the chance to prove that they are legitimate NBA players worth big contracts, and chief among them was Jordan Hill.

Hill was a fan favorite last season due to his energy and rebounding, but his minutes constantly fluctuated under Mike D’Antoni. Many expected Hill to find a new team this past summer, but the Lakers kept him around after a failed attempt to re-sign Pau Gasol with a two-year, $18 million contract that has a team option for the 2015-16 season.

So far this season, Hill has stepped up as arguably the most consistent Lakers player. Hill is averaging a career-high in points and rebounds, including a league leading 4.1 offensive rebounds per game. He has also flashed an improved jump shot, showcasing some versatility on the offensive end. His defense, however, has still been lackluster at times and has much room for improvement.

The Lakers have been very adamant about maintaining as much salary cap room as possible, and with Hill costing the team $9 million next year if his option is picked up, Hill will have to at least maintain his level of play in order to justify being paid that much money.

The Lakers are projected to have around $30 million in cap space next year and exercising the option on Hill would eat into that. The question remains, is he worth it?

Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask our loyal followers if they believe, based on his play so far, that the Lakers should exercise the $9 million option on Jordan Hill. These are some of the responses:

The fans were pretty split on this topic, but were slightly leaning towards not exercising the option and personally, I agree with the fans on this one.

Many called for Hill to be traded this season, but Hill has to approve any trade so the Lakers shipping him out to some random team won’t work, and playoff teams looking for help likely won’t offer too much in return.

At the end of the day, for as much as Hill has improved, he isn’t worth $9 million with this current salary cap. The Lakers have the room to sign a true center who can really protect the rim, which is a weak point for Hill and still get another top wing player or point guard.

If the Lakers are able to decline his option and bring him back at around the $5-6 million range that would be ideal. But if he continues to rebound at this level, some team may be willing to pay him more, and I think the Lakers have to be careful about who gets the big money contracts.

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