10:30pm: The Pelicans have expressed interest in Hill, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star tweets.
11:25am: The Pacers have made Solomon Hill available to other teams who might be interested in trading for him, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports within a column. Indiana declined its 2016/17 rookie scale option on Hill before the season, so he’s set for unrestricted free agency in the offseason ahead, when he’ll be just three years removed from having been the 23rd overall pick. The Pacers are ineligible to re-sign him next summer for a starting salary of more than $2,306,019 because they declined the option, which was worth precisely that amount. That restriction would transfer to any team that might trade for the 24-year-old small forward.
Hill led an injury-racked Pacers team in total minutes last season, when he averaged 8.9 points in 29.0 minutes per game, but he’s outside the rotation this year, notching just 6.3 minutes per night across seven appearances. That’s in spite of a revamped Pacers attack that puts a greater emphasis on wing players like the 6’7″ former University of Arizona player, who’s making slightly less than $1.359MM this season.
It’s no shock to see Hill in trade rumors, since all four of the players whose rookie scale team options were declined in 2014 are no longer with the team that declined the option. Hill and swingmen Sergey Karasev of the Nets and P.J. Hairston of the Hornets are the only three players who didn’t have their rookie scale options picked up this year, and trade chatter has already surfaced surrounding Karasev, too, though he denied reports that he wanted the Nets to deal him away. I speculated in a recent mailbag column that Hill would become a trade candidate.
It’s unclear if any team has interest in Hill. He’s eligible to be traded immediately, but most in-season deals don’t happen until the majority of the players who signed in the offseason become trade-eligible on December 15th. The Pacers are more than $12MM clear of the luxury tax threshold, so they have no shortage of financial flexibility.