Northwest Notes: Hill, Jazz, Abrines

When George Hill attended a basketball camp in early June in Highland, Utah, he had no idea that he was close to his next NBA home, relays Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Later that month, the Pacers shipped him to the Jazz in a three-team deal. The trade may have taken Hill by surprise, but he’s settling into his new surroundings and looking forward to the upcoming season. The Jazz like Hill’s mix of shooting and defensive prowess and are hoping he will serve as a mentor to Dante Exum, who showed promise as a rookie before missing all of last season with a knee injury.

Hill is eligible for a contract extension in October and will become a free agent next summer if one is not reached. “I haven’t really talked about that much with anyone,” Hill said. “My whole focus is to come in here and be the best player that I can possibly be. I feel that the contract situation will work itself out, once you do that.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz should be a contender in the West after adding a mix of veteran players to their young core, writes A.J. Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today. Along with Hill, Utah picked up Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw.
  • FC Barcelona executive Manel Arroyo said the team is “upset” about losing Alex Abrines, even though he understands the allure of playing in the NBA, according to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Abrines left the Spanish club in July to sign a three-year deal worth roughly $17.1MM with Oklahoma City. Horne adds that the move probably wouldn’t have happened if Kevin Durant had remained with the Thunder. “Sometimes it is a situation where we are discussing how we manage the future of the team and how we must be the model of the other basketball teams because for the players the target is always to be in the United States,” Arroyo said. “Clearly when he [Abrines] receives a call and proposal from the NBA, he wants to be in the main league in the basketball world.”

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