Solomon Hill is one of Pacers coach Frank Vogel‘s favorite players because of his versatility and work ethic, writes Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star. That’s in spite of a report last week that Indiana has made the swingman available for a trade and the lack of playing time Hill has seen since the team declined his rookie scale option for next season.
“He knows the fact that he’s not in the rotation to start the season does not mean his days are numbered here,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “We made that very clear that we’re going to give some other guys looks at that position to give us an offensive boost. We’re trying to improve on the offensive end this year and he’s got to stay ready. There are going to be times when he’s needed and he’s going to have an opportunity to get back into the rotation at some point.”
Hill’s best work comes on defense, so the notion that at least some of the Pacers braintrust isn’t sold on him is another sign of the team’s shift toward more offense, Buckner posits. Here’s more from the Central Division:
- LeBron James has quickly formed a bond with Jared Cunningham off the court, but it’s unlikely to play much of a role when the Cavs must decide next month whether to guarantee Cunningham’s salary for the rest of the season, writes Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.
- The Bucks gave Greg Monroe a max deal and Khris Middleton a new five-year, $70MM contract, but the executives and scouts who spoke to Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times are higher on Giannis Antetokounmpo than any other player on the Milwaukee roster. Antetokoumpo, making slightly less than $1.954MM this season, becomes eligible for a rookie scale extension in the summer ahead.
- Bulls management basically said this summer that they believe they have a roster with a real chance to win the championship this year, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes in a mailbag column, one in which he says he doesn’t think the team will make a trade this season.