As for Hill, Lindsey was just as adamant that the Jazz want him back in 2017-18, although he acknowledged that the team may not be able match all offers Hill receives. “I told him if he gets a crazy offer somewhere else and we helped him get that offer, ‘you’re not going to get one poor thought, much less a word (from us)’ if he were to go,” Lindsey said. “He helped us.”
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“There’s a very good chance, we’re each other’s best option come July,” Lindsey said. “But I’m not Nostradamus with a crystal ball and know how all of this is going to play out. But he’s obviously an excellent fit on the court and he has what we call a Jazz DNA.”
Utah general manager Dennis Lindsey and coach Quin Snyder have done everything right in constructing a burgeoning Western Conference contender, but they’ll have to withstand the Boston Celtics’ push for Hayward on July 1. Winning a playoff series, getting a crack at the Golden State Warriors, gives Hayward a better prism with which to imagine his Utah future. The plan for Utah is unmistakable: Offer Hayward a max deal, re-sign point guard George Hill and turn these 51-win Jazz toward 60 victories and push for a conference finals appearance sooner rather than later.
He’ll have unprecedented freedom next summer. A renegotiation-and extension could have kept him off the market, giving him security with a team that uses him well. But Hill isn’t dwelling on it. “It’s over. There’s nothing we can do about it now,” Hill said. “But I’m here to help the Jazz win basketball games. I’m not focused on a contract right now. We’ll get to that when the season is over, but right now, our main focus is to win basketball games and me to play my butt off.”
After the Jazz make their first playoff appearance in five years and likely win their first playoff game in seven years, they’ll have to evaluate the value of the point guard who helped get them there. Likewise, Hill will face major decisions about his priorities. He and Utah were eligible to sign a renegotiation-and-extension that could have paid him $88,684,652 through 2019-20, but they didn’t strike a deal by last month’s deadline.
Specifically, Windhorst said the Nets are likely to pursue Hill, who’s seen as a solid two-way player and leader. Unlike the other two, there would be no opportunity to match. You sign, you play. The best offer wins the day. “There is a belief that the Brooklyn Nets might have interest in going there. And even if George Hill isn’t interested in playing for the Brooklyn Nets, the Nets could make the offer is what is dangerous part for the Jazz … and for the Spurs. They can drive the price up.
“So, let me tell you what the executives are talking about. George Hill recently changed agencies and I’m not getting into the intricacies of this. Last year, a player, Allen Crabbe, changed agencies right before free agency and the next thing you know, he had a gigantic offer sheet from the Brooklyn Nets. The same agency represents Tyler Johnson in Miami. He got a huge offer sheet from the Brooklyn Nets.”
But it’s impossible to deny how much of a difference Hill, a steady hand who is averaging 17.6 points and 4.1 assists, has made for the Jazz this season. Utah is 25-10 when he plays and 12-13 when injuries have forced him to sit. “I think the statistics for us as a team and for him individually kind of speak for themselves,” said face of the franchise Gordon Hayward, who is all but assured to get a max contract assuming he opts to become a free agent this summer. “He’s obviously come in and been a leader in the locker room, too, [and] a leader out on the court for us. He plays with toughness, plays with poise offensively. He’s a big part of why we’ve been successful this year.”
Tim MacMahon: George Hill declined to discuss potential future in Utah: “I don’t want to talk about none of that. I’m just here to win games right now.”
Jody Genessy: Can confirm that George Hill will not sign an extension with the Utah Jazz this season. He’ll be a top priority this offseason for the team.
Aaron Falk: Breaking: George Hill and the Jazz will not reach a deal on a contract extension, league sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune. Story to come
Eric Pincus: So looks like the renegotiation and extension not happening – only teams with cap room can R+E twitter.com/tribjazz/statu…
Zach Lowe: Thought this would be Utah’s play if they couldn’t use space at deadline. Surprised they can’t find a meeting point. twitter.com/tribjazz/statu…
Tim MacMahon: Whether or not Jazz get a George Hill extension done by deadline, the veteran PG figures prominently in team’s future plans.
Aaron Falk: Can confirm @Tim MacMahon report on Jazz guard George Hill and franchise working hard to beat deadline on contract extension
Aaron Falk: League source tells Tribune Hill wants extension as much as Jazz want to extend him. This is a mutual thing
The Utah Jazz and point guard George Hill are in active discussions on a contract extension in an attempt to strike a deal before Tuesday’s 11:59 p.m. ET deadline for such deals, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN that the sides continue to work toward an agreement in hopes of beating the league’s annual deadline for what is known in the NBA as a renegotiation-and-extension. Such deals can’t be struck between March 1 and June 30 of any salary-cap year. Hill has recently declined to discuss a potential contract extension but told ESPN in November that he was “very interested” in the idea. Sources said the Jazz are determined to keep Hill for the long term even if extension terms can’t be reached Tuesday and Hill decides he would rather test the open market starting July 1.
The Jazz can give Hill — who is making $8 million in the final season of his contract — the rest of its cap space this season and an extension of up to three years with annual raises of 7.5 percent. The best offer Utah can make Hill is for $88.3 million to be committed to the Jazz through the 2019-20 season, which computes to a three-year, $74.7 million extension plus $13.6 million this season.
Even if the Wolves do trade Rubio, there’s a belief among rival teams that it would signal Thibodeau’s intention to pursue a veteran point guard in free agency, such as George Hill or even Rose himself — not that Dunn was ascending to the starting job.
The general vibe from the Jazz is they will re-sign Hill in the offseason, but like many of the players on this list, there is a risk that Hill walks away. Sources close to the Hill situation say he’s really happy in Utah and staying long term is not at all out of the question.
Extending Hill now is the best hedge against Hayward leaving. Losing both would eviscerate Utah’s perimeter rotation; it is Utah’s doomsday scenario. But Hill may wait out Hayward’s decision; the two are close, with shared Indiana roots and Indy-based trainers. Even so, Hill would at least listen if the Jazz approached with an offer today. “I was never one who wanted to move from team to team,” Hill told ESPN.com. “If the opportunity to stay is there, I’d love to take it.”
Utah’s cap space can be used to make a robust in-season extension offer to either point guard George Hill or big man Derrick Favors. And … According to the latest rumbles in circulation on the matter, Hill has emerged as Utah’s priority here.
It’s an open secret that Utah wants to sign new point guard George Hill to an extension that keeps him off the free-agent market this summer. Hill, for his part, recently made it clear to our own Tim MacMahon that he would be “very interested in that.” The reality, though, is that Hill, earning $8 million this season in the final year of his last contract with Indiana, is playing far too well to do an extension starting from that salary range, given all the spending money that will be sloshing around the NBA next summer. Yet as Hill also told MacMahon: “I’m not the type of guy that likes to move around and go from team to team. I really like it here.” The Jazz have to love the sound of that.
Hayward is expected to opt out of his $16.7 million player option and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Hill is in the final year of his contract worth $8 million and will also become an unrestricted free agent. While Utah has a well-regarded young nucleus that should only get better – especially after locking up Rudy Gobert to a long-term extension – Hill isn’t looking toward his future yet. “I don’t know,” Hill said. “I’m really not here to answer [questions about] extension or contract situations and things like that. I’m going to let Dennis Lindsey and the front office handle that and my agents. My focus is just to play basketball and try to get us to the playoffs.”
Hill said he hopes to remain with the Jazz long term. “I’m not the type of guy that likes to move around and go from team to team,” said Hill, who leads the Jazz with 21.4 points and 4.6 assists per game. “I really like it here. My family likes it here. I’ve got some friends here. The city’s been great for me so far, and it’s a nice place to raise a family, so hopefully I get an opportunity to re-sign here if they would love me to be here.”
The Jazz see PG George Hill as a long-term fit and could attempt to sign him to an extension this season, preventing him from hitting the free agency market in the summer. “If that’s the case, then I would be very interested in that,” Hill told ESPN. “But I’m going to let them take care of that and just do what I can control.”
With one year remaining on his contract, and without an extension (for which he is eligible in October), Hill will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Hill said that’s not on his mind, however. He knows he will play a big role for the Jazz this season, and his potential value on the market next summer could be significant. Still, the focus is on playing this season and trying to win as much as possible. He knows if he does that, the dominoes will fall into place. “I haven’t really talked about that much with anyone,” Hill said. “My whole focus is to come in here and be the best player that I can possibly be. I feel that the contract situation will work itself out, once you do that.”
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May 28, 2017 | 5:23 pm EDT Update
The Spurs are reportedly exploring the feasibility of a massive acquisition of Paul, but the odds of the stars aligning for San Antonio reportedly aren’t realistic according to Adrian Wojnarowski, who appeared on CBS Sports Radio on Sunday with Gary Parrish to discuss where Paul might land.
“Not that I see,” Wojnarowski said of Paul’s chances of ending up with the Spurs. “I don’t know where that came from. I’ve spent a lot of time around the Spurs this spring. They would have to just tear up that entire payroll. It’s almost unlike anything the Spurs would’ve done or would do to even have a chance at him. I mean, they’d have to really gut the roster. And to do that for a 30-plus year old point guard, who has a couple great years left, there’s no question — I think there’s more pressure on the Clippers to have to re-sign him than for the Spurs to turn their whole franchise over to make a run at him.”
“Listen, Chris Paul, financially, the difference with him staying in L.A. and to get paid, I’d have a hard time imagining him leaving there,” continued Wojnarowski. “There’s so much money for him to be made and at that Los Angeles market, just in terms of his marketing endorsements, I still think they’re a pretty overwhelming favorite to re-sign him.”
Have they told you they’re going to pick up that option? Bryn Forbes: “Not explicitly, but they don’t really tell you much explicitly, ‘This is what’s going to happen.’ From making the team, I didn’t know what to expect. (Popovich) told me after the last (preseason) game that I made the team. Every step of the way, you find out that last day, even if you thought you knew from the jump.”
Did you know Coach Popovich was going to play you that much? Bryn Forbes: “His style is to just kind of throw you in the fire sometimes, when you least expect it. You come to the game like, ‘Ah, I probably won’t play this one, I’ll probably just be sitting,’ and boom, you’re in the game in the second quarter. You’ve just got to stay prepared. For him to put his trust in me, you always want to show up when he does that, so that he feels more comfortable putting me out there.”
Kevin Durant on Bob Myers: “He doesn’t walk around like he’s the leader. We know he makes the big decisions but we work together, all of us, him and Steve especially. If you see Bob walking with a group of Warriors employees, you wouldn’t know he’s Bob Myers, the president of the team. He just fits in with everybody.”