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.”
If Utah extends anyone this season, the bet here is on Hill. Dennis Lindsay, the team's GM, drafted Hill in San Antonio, and Utah has no ready replacement for him. If both Hill and Hayward sign on long-term, I'd expect the Jazz to gauge the trade market for Favors in the summer and lean on stretchier power forwards. (They'd also have to identify a new backup center, since Favors effectively plays that role when healthy. Jeff Withey has been solid in Favors' absence.)
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 was asked to confirm that report today, and here's what he said: "I personally didn't say that I'm demanding an extension, I didn't even know that I'm up for an extension. So I didn't know where that came from. What I did say when I found out was that I'm going to leave that to the front office. If they want me here, I'd love to be here. I'll let them take care of that."
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."
September 24, 2021 | 5:17 pm EDT Update
Law Murray: Frank: “Bledsoe is a downhill attacker… couple years removed from All-Defense” Says he has a lot to prove. “Ready to give us another guy who can make plays, not just for himself but for others and to get to the paint, we felt was very important.”