The team has an option on Hill's contract next year with the decision due before July. The Lakers can either pay him $9 million for the 2015-16 season, or render him an unrestricted free agent.
The top two prospects in the draft, Duke's
Okafor is more of a true center, while Towns (like Hill) can also play power forward. The Lakers could also look at a guard like Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, perhaps making Hill more of a viable fit on the roster.
The Lakers also have power forward
The Lakers clearly have options at the power positions, but paying $9 million for Hill doesn't seem like the likely choice, especially if the team wants to be a player in free agency.
Hill's salary is problematic. The team would have up to $22.2 million in spending power without him but just $13.8 million if they keep Hill at his option price.
The franchise has four players under contract (
The No. 2 pick (unsigned) will take up $4.3 million of the Lakers' cap room this summer. Once the player inks his contract, he'll receive an industry standard bump in pay to $5.1 million.
The Lakers also have the
To maximize their cap space, the Lakers would need to let Hill go, while renouncing the rights to free agents like Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer,
Some of the top free agents potentially include
Many of the best players who may be available are power forwards or centers.
Restricted free agents include
The Lakers could look to trade Hill, but only if he is opted into his salary for next season. If they do decline his option, the Lakers have the ability to re-sign him -- should both parties have interest in a return.
Through 70 appearances last season (57 starts), Hill averaged 12.0 points and 7.9 rebounds a game while shooting 45.9% from the field.