The Pacers have decided not to exercise their team option for 2016/17 on Solomon Hill, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. That means he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent this coming summer. Hill, the 23rd overall pick in 2013, was to make about $2.306MM on the option, which covered the fourth season of his rookie scale contract. The deadline for the team to make its call on the option was 11:00pm Central tonight.
Hill was a rock for the Pacers last season, when he was the only member of the team to appear in all 82 games and led an injury-hit Indiana squad in total minutes played, as Scott Agness of VigilantSports noted earlier today. The 24-year-old small forward has only made a brief two-minute cameo so far this season, however.
The decision will make it difficult for the Pacers to re-sign Hill next summer if he manages to find his way back into the rotation this season, since they won’t, by rule, be able to give him any more than the value of the option next year. That impediment would transfer if the Pacers dealt Hill to another team, likely making him a less attractive trade target for potential suitors who find his upside intriguing.
Still, Indiana elected to keep the $2.306MM off the books for 2016/17, a season for which the team already has more than $57MM committed against a salary cap that many agents and executives reportedly think will go up to $95MM. The Pacers are without any other pending rookie scale options or extensions. Hill joins Sergey Karasev, whose option the Nets will reportedly turn down, as the only two players whose teams declined their options among the more than 50 who entered camp with rookie scale options left on their respective contracts. Anthony Bennett had a rookie scale team option on his contract with the Timberwolves, but it disappeared when the Wolves released him in a buyout deal.
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