George Hill thought he was going to retire with the Indiana Pacers
Needless to say, the trade to Utah surprised him
When George Hill re-signed with the Indiana Pacers back in 2012 for five years and $40 million, he assumed he was going to be there for a very long time. Hill is from Indiana. Indianapolis is where he grew up and went to high school. He went to college at IUPUI. It just made sense for him to be back in Indiana for his playing career and to commit to them long-term.
That doesn't always mean the team will commit to you in the same way. The business of the NBA means guys can be on the move at the drop of a hat. Hill was reminded of that again recently when he was traded to the Utah Jazz in a three-team deal. It came out of nowhere for the point guard, who said he was "supposed to retire from Indiana." From Scott Agness:
"It came as a surprise. Last time I checked, I was supposed to retire from Indiana. Very surprising, but I know this is a business and anything can happen. So, I'm not upset about it. I think I'm in a great situation here. I'm here, somewhere where I feel wanted right now.
Hill will now be the starting point guard for the Jazz and a mentor to up-and-coming guard Dante Exum. The Jazz acquired Hill for the cost of the No. 12 pick in the draft going to the Atlanta Hawks, who sent Jeff Teague to Indiana to replace Hill. While the Jazz are likely a better team from a talent standpoint than the Pacers in the upcoming season, being in the Western Conference means the playoff picture is a bit tighter. It will be up to hill to complement Utah's stars like Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors to bring more shooting and defense from the point guard position.
The Pacers had Hill at point guard from 2011-12 until this past season. He averaged 12.3 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in 319 games for the Pacers. He started 270 of those games and was part of one of the most effective lineups in the NBA during that time with Roy Hibbert, David West, Paul George, and Lance Stephenson. Prior to his time in Indiana, he played for the San Antonio Spurs. They drafted him 26th in 2008 and then traded him for the draft rights of Kawhi Leonard in 2011.
Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey was part of the front office in San Antonio that both drafted Hill and traded him away.
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