Some emerging reports have indicated that Utah Jazz free agent point guard George Hill and the San Antonio Spurs may have mutual interest.
Although Gordon Hayward’s impending free agency has largely stolen the majority of the attention in regards to the Utah Jazz offseason, the organization is faced with another tough situation in free agent George Hill.
On one side of things, Hill was an excellent addition to the Jazz this past season and a big part of the team earning 51 wins. He fits in well in the locker room and in the community, runs the point well and excelled in Quin Snyder’s system. In short, the Jazz loved Hill and more than likely would be thrilled to have him back.
However, there are some concerns relating to Utah’s starting point guard as well. He struggled with several injuries last season, missing 33 regular season games and Utah’s final three playoff games. He also is presumed to demand a hefty contract this offseason, which if the Jazz retain Hayward and hope to make further improvements from there, may have a hard time affording.
Not to mention, even if the Jazz decide to overlook his injuries and salary, there’s also the obstacle that Hill is an unrestricted free agent and ultimately if he wants to leave, there’s nothing the Jazz can do to prevent it.
And such may very well be the case as a recent report from Jabari Young of San Antonio Express News indicates that George Hill may be eyeing a return to his former San Antonio Spurs team. It’s common knowledge that Hill is one of Gregg Popovich’s favorite players and the fact that Hill still maintains a residence in San Antonio and spends significant time there would seem to indicate that this could be a likely move for him.
Within the last 24 hours, it’s been announced that both Danny Green and LaMarcus Aldridge are purportedly on the trade block for the Spurs, meaning it’s more than likely that San Antonio is up to something quite big. Many have presumed that plan of theirs involves going after free agent point guard Chris Paul, but if they have something else in mind, netting George Hill could be a nice option as well.
Hill put up a career high 16.9 points with the Jazz last season while shooting an efficient 47.7 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from deep. If he can carry those numbers over to a Popovich-led system where he ought to be very comfortable, then he would be a dangerous piece for the Spurs.
Unless the Jazz have other plans and are confident that their money would be better spent elsewhere, I would quite like it if they could retain George Hill. However, if he demands a hefty contract that handicaps the Jazz financially or if he simply decides to pursue a different option, I could see San Antonio ending up being a great destination for him where he could be very successful. If such ended up being the case, I would wish him nothing but the best.
A Hill-Spurs reunion does happen to make a lot of sense for both parties involved, but it’s hard to say at this point whether it’s something that’s truly in the works. However, with the 2017 NBA Draft mere hours away and a strong likelihood that the Jazz will be heavy trade participants, we may soon get a much clearer picture about what’s in store for the future of George Hill, Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz as a whole.