Lakers Nation Debate: Hill Or Gasol? Lakers Will Have To Choose

Lakers Nation Debate: Hill Or Gasol? Lakers Will Have To Choose

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Topic Of Debate: Due to the emergence of Jordan Hill this season, the Lakers will be placed in a tough position once the 2014 free agency period commences: picking between the fan favorite in Pau Gasol, or the young big man in Jordan Hill.

Context: Though it might be too early to make such an assumption, the sudden success of Jordan Hill presents a new dilemma for the Lakers front office. It’s been noted that they intend to have as much cap space as possible in the 2014 and 2015 off-seasons in order to sign star-level talent, but what’s been kept under the radar is how much of that space will be used to round out the roster with current pieces they might want to retain.

We expect Kobe Bryant to re-sign and take a pay-cut, as he is going to be the main draw for other big free agents (A.K.A. Carmelo Anthony) to come and play for the Lakers. Initially, those same sentiments were also felt toward Pau, but with Hill’s stunning play after receiving more minutes, the Lakers might have to make a decision between the two as early as the all-star break.

Something is going to have to give. Because of Hill’s growth, the Lakers will have to make a decision between the two players if they plan on having enough cap space to bring in multiple stars to win another championship in the near future.

Verdict: We took this poll question to Twitter to get the fans take on the idea and where they stood on the concept of a tanking

I presented the poll question:

Here are some responses:





Choosing between players is a very sensitive discussion, especially when both players have a legitimate case to stay.

Barring some injury or huge decline in production, the Lakers should expect Jordan Hill to be a key component in the success of their team. He’s developed his game to the point where he has cemented himself as a starting big man in the NBA. Right now the Lakers are paying Hill $3.6-million dollars in the final year of his contract, and his worth is surely to at least double that when he hits free agency in 2014 being that he is one of the few big men available in this upcoming off-season.

Pau Gasol is a Lakers legend, having contributed to back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. He has a great rapport with fans, and has made it known that he intends to retire in a Laker uniform. He surely is worth more than a veterans minimum that the Lakers would like him to take, and will look to get as much money as he can.

Both maintain value that the Lakers cant afford to lose for nothing!

Does the front office enter negotiations with Hill and try to extend him now? Do they attempt to trade he or Gasol to a contender for a first round pick? These are questions that we can assume the front office is asking themselves as this season continues to develop.

What should they do? Who do they pick?

What’s your take?

Pau Gasol To Donate To Victims Of Philippines Typhoon And Talks Kobe’s Return

  • Akin Akintunde

    love Gasol, but he’s on the decline. And if we have to look at things from a business standpoint, we’ll have to go with the Garbage man at this point. I still haven’t given up on Gasol turning things around and becoming a bit more aggressive, I just dont know if it will ever happen at this point to be honest.

    • Joseph Apohen

      I’ve always loved Pau from his demeanor to how great of a postman he was. He is still good but not the way he was when he helped the Lakers win 3 (?) championships. He is on a decline as can be expected with his age and mileage on those knees. It is earlly in the season and I always advocated that Hill should start with Gasol to help him with all the rough stuffs under the basket. I don’t think Hill is a flash in the pan.He is just beginning to show what a great future he’s going to have. If a decision is to be made as to who stays at this point I have to go with Hill. How much we’ll miss Pau’s bb acumen and his passing it is something I don’t even want to think at this time. Althoujgh Gasol makes a load of money especially for someone at his age maybe management can make some kind of arrangement where both remain with the Lakers. Gasol always said he wants to remain a Laker. How much is that worth to him is a good question. As far as FA is concerned, I don’t think those like James and Carmelo would want to relocate. I don’t really care for either one as I don’t think they’ll mesh with Kobe. Love is not available until 2016 but a trade may be made where he can come over a year earlier. I don’t know what’s Westbrook’s status but I sure would like him here.

  • Lakers Fan

    Lets see. Hill is younger, provides more energy, better defensively, don’t need any plays run for him, does all the little things that don’t show up in the stat sheet, is of much more value right now, is averaging 18 and 12, and is just a better overall player right now. I love Gasol, and he does bring experience. But he is clearly on the decline. I’ll take Hill over Gasol. Easily.

  • dillard

    keep hill!

  • Gregory Choa

    IMO, a lot of this depends on what happens at the point guard position. As revelatory as Jordan Hill’s play has been of late, Pau remains the far better playmaking big man. There is no doubt Hill is the higher “energy” guy and is the better rebounder, and that he and Blake have been running the pick-and-roll with a lot of success lately, but Gasol is a much better passer and ball-handler. If we had Chris Paul running the point, I’d say ditch Pau and hold onto Hill…but we don’t – we have a fading Nash and Steve Blake…that’s what we got.

    If Kobe comes back at the team’s “point forward”, and flourishes in that role, as I suspect he will, this could further end up reducing Pau’s effectiveness, and further solidify Hill’s usefullness. We shall see how this plays out…either way, we should have a much better idea about which direction the FO should go on this business of Gasol vs. Hill be the time we get to the trading deadline.

    • meep

      but even with blake we have a solid guard who been avging 8 or more assist the last 6 games. yes pau does some things wells but he also struggling. if pau doesnt improve even with kobe. i think it time to move on. lakers will be better suited to take the money they use on pau and use it on 2 or 3 other guys.

  • meep

    easy keep hill he will be alot cheaper and younger . pau was great for us,but it time to move on. use pau money to maybe try and get another young star say like a greg monroe. pau money he makes now could be use to resign hill and get one or 2 other players.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    I am sick and tired of the BS that goes along with being a NBA fan.It’s just stupid that a team like the Lakers might lose Pau Gasol or Jordan Hill over money.The Lakers have loads of cap space why trip on some contract Gasol needs or Hill needs just sign both.Jordan Hill will prove to be limited on offense IMO.Might as well just start trading players this is stupid if they leave via free agency for nothing,get something good in return at least.If forced to just pick one over the other i would take Jordan Hill and never regret it,because Pau Gasol is on the decline and he is 7 years older,i love Pau but this is the final push out the door by FO.

    • meep

      i dont think it about money, it could be who better suited for the lakers in the long run. if hill keep it up hill will be. since he younger and will be alot cheaper. pau wont be worth it if he wont sign for cheaper ,since his production is on the decline.

      • LakersHeatBeef

        My personal Analytics say Jordan Hill is on the rise and my projection for him is to end up averaging 34 MPG and 18 points per game and 12 Rebounds per game for the next 3 seasons and 1.0 Block Per Game and a high FG%.I see a consistent jump shot from 12-18 feet in the future of Mr. Hill.

        Now as for Pau Gasol in the next 3 seasons if he decides to not retire and keep playing i see him scoring 15 points per game and getting 9 Rebounds next season,the following season i see him getting 11 Points Per Game and 8 Rebounds Per Game and 3 years from now i say he averages 10 points and 8 Rebounds.Also factor in Jordan Hill is a much better defender and Hill is 7 years younger and seems much hungrier.

        So the easy choice currently is Jordan Hill for obvious reasons.

        • meep

          if hill gives us those type of stats, then he will be playing like he did in college. since those numbers are along the line he put up for AZ and i can see that maybe happening with pau and i say let him walk or trade him to the griz and let him play what ever years he has left with his be different if he was tim ducan and giving us those numbers. but sadly he not

    • Jojob

      Now that we know what Kobe’s extension is going to cost ($23.5 million next year and $25 million the following year), no one can say that the Lakers have loads of cap space. If you want to re-sign both Hill and Gasol (I’m guessing $15 million for the pair), there’s certainly not enough cap space to sign even one elite free agent. And I’d like to also keep both Farmar and Meeks.
      Cap space comes when Kobe retires. Check out the numbers from Larry Coon (CBA expert). He’s got us with $22 million cap space. But that’s with a 12 man roster (mostly scrubs) that doesn’t include either Hill or Gasol or most of the players who are actually playing for the Lakers at this point.

  • Jim213

    Have to look ahead, Hill is filling in the role of the Center nicely which means being around the paint and rebounding on a consistent basis. Also, doubt that Hill would’ve gotten this chance if DH was still around given that we’d likely be watching Pau and DH get most of the minutes. Good attitude from Hill, let’s his work speak for itself as one can’t argue his hustle on the court which is what the masses observe.

    Not sure about Pau today and his game as well as what he’ll demand in the future come 2014 FA. Some make excuses that he’s not motivated and needs Kobe on the floor but given that motivation comes from within I’m not certain of what he’ll bring if things don’t turn out as expected with Kobe (cross fingers). He’s the 2nd man on the team but has failed to step up to the role to fill the team’s need of a go to guy when the game is on the line.

    Off the court, great person, but the franchise demands competitiveness and some type of consistent play from the go to guys. Given 2014 FA, management will be looking to add another franchise star thus I doubt that Pau would be seen as the 2nd or possible 3rd viable option for the team (go to guy). IMO, his value is declining.

    • cj

      a team of

      pau 7 mil
      kobe 10 mil
      deng 10 mil
      bosh 20 mil

      thats 47mill for our 4 players. that gives us about 15 mill to fill out the rest of the team.

      hill 5mill
      farmar 5 mill
      young 3 mill
      henry 2 mill
      blake vets min hes our starter
      wes vets min

      so the team is

      blake 1.1 mill
      kobe 10 mill
      deng 10 mill
      bosh 20 mill
      pau 7 mill

      farmar 5 mill
      henry 2 mill
      young 3 mill
      wes 1.1 mill
      hill 5 mill (mid lvl)

      bench to bench:
      draft pick 1.5 mill
      ? 1.1 mill vet min
      harris .8 mill
      kelly .8 mill
      scare 1.1 mill

      total 69.5 mill over cap not a tax payer. could happen.

      but u should try to get bosh at around 15-18 mill a season

      • Jim213

        With D Rose possibly suffering another serious injury IMO Deng ain’t going nowhere. Don’t like to sound awkward but seen this coming a mile away. Aside of Westbrook (OKC), Rose has that take no prisoners approach while driving inside (aside of overall aggressive style of play). Should’ve kept Lil Nate to help ease Rose back to high level play. It’s one thing to take a season off an it’s another to play competitive ball against top athletic opponents.

        The Lakers 2nd unit will be one of the top come next season given their minutes of play = more experience (playtime). Aside of Kobe and Hill (rebounds/hustle) the Lakers will need a future PG (athleticism) as well as a PF/SF. Blake makes $4 mil so I wouldn’t expect him to go for a vet contract.

        Bosh isn’t a max contract player though will likely receive a max contract from another team. IMO, if the Lakers expect to turn this around in a short period they’ll have to make some trades before the trade deadline. While waiting for 2014 FA. Some small/fake rumors mention the Lakers have interest in Asik (Rockettes) but don’t have value to make a rich trade.

        Don’t like this move if the rumor is true. The team should focus on acquiring athletic big men if they want or adopt this type of offense down the line as if they acquire their future PG that caters to the coach’s system we may see the current coach past the 2013-2014 season. So whoever the Lakers acquire down the line may point to the future role of the current coach.

    • Paytc

      I would love to keep them both. Jordan Hill is younger and protects the rim and paint much better than the softer finesse guy Gasol does.Hill is also much more consistent and plays with heart and massive effort each night at home and on the road.Hill is the better defender. Both can rebound the ball. Hill provided energy and grit which charges up the crowd and his team mates.

      Gasol is a better scorer when he comes mentally prepared to play. Gasol is a very good passer and the better shooter.Gasol is expecting a bit more money ,but the best bang for the buck is clearly Jordan Hill all things considered.

  • Iron Giant

    I like this current team. I think Hill, Blake, Meeks, Henry, Farmar have played very well. Young, and Kaman, have played well too. The problem is that we have a team full of good bench players. What we are lacking is starters. If it were me, I would prefer to keep Gasol and Hill. But the most I would give Pau is 8 mil. I would prefer to give him 5. If he wouldn’t take 8, I would let him walk. If we could get Melo, yes I would take him. But he probably needs to slim down a little bit. And he needs to accept about 17 mil. Deng? Nope, I would pass on him. Bosh? Maybe, but he wouldn’t be my first choice. And not for 20 mil. No way. I would love for us to tank this season, for Parker or Wiggins. Then sign the best free agent we could get for a reasonable amount of money. I have heard rumors that Love and Westbrook may want to reunite in LA with the Lakers. Unfortunately it would be 2-3 yrs before that could actually happen.

  • harry

    you know why Hill become productive? don’t you think that also Gasol’s contribution?