Pacers small forward Solomon Hill had his 2016/17 rookie option declined by the team, but it’s not a decision that is weighing on him, writes Scott Agness of VigilantSports.com. “I wasn’t even thinking about that, to tell you the truth,” he told Agness. “That stuff will handle itself. One thing I can control is my effort and my ability to play the game of basketball. I never look at it as being like a crucial time. I just want to win. That’s the biggest thing for me.” Hill, whose option value was approximately $2.306MM, is now set to become an unrestricted free agent this coming summer.
With Hill seeing sparse playing time thus far during the 2015/16 season, securing a lucrative free agent deal will certainly be difficult, Agness notes. “Of course [it’s difficult]. It is what it is. Stuff happens for reasons,” Hill said regarding his lack of minutes. “I can only control what I can control and that’s making sure I’m ready when my name is called. Anything else is out of my hands. I’m not going to stress about stuff that’s out of hands right now.”
Here’s more from out of the Central Division:
- Center Timofey Mozgov, who had surgery on his right knee during the offseason, is still attempting to work himself back into shape, and the Cavaliers are banking on him rounding into form for the latter part of the season, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com writes. “He’s working real hard, strengthening,” coach David Blatt said of the big Russian. “He’s dropping a little bit of weight, which is good. That takes pressure off the knee. And getting himself in the kind of shape that he’s going to have to be in as we get further and deeper into the season. But I think he’s feeling better and I think it shows in his play.“
- The Bucks are planning on taking it slow with Jabari Parker, who is returning from a torn ACL that cost him the bulk of his rookie campaign in 2014/15, Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports writes. The offseason free agent signing of center Greg Monroe may have brought heightened expectations to the franchise, but it also bought some extra time for Parker to heal, Lee adds. “The great thing about Jabari’s injury is who we are as an organization; that we’re not a finished product,” Milwaukee GM John Hammond told Lee. “I feel like, hopefully, we’re still a team in the future and I think our aspirations are high and we think we can do special things in the future here. So there is not that pressure where there’s a short window for us and the time is now. So with that being said for Jabari, it’s not about now, it’s about the long-term future.”