There are only about two dozen veterans around the NBA eligible for contract extensions during the season, and one of those players is Jazz point guard George Hill. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com, Hill would have plenty of interest in discussing a new deal with his new team, should Utah approach him about it at some point in 2016/17.
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“If that’s the case [that the team wants to discuss an extension], then I would be very interested in that,” Hill said. “But I’m going to let them take care of that and just do what I can control.
“I’m not the type of guy that likes to move around and go from team to team,” Hill added. “I really like it here. My family likes it here. I’ve got some friends here. The city’s been great for me so far, and it’s a nice place to raise a family, so hopefully I get an opportunity to re-sign here if they would love me to be here.”
While veteran extensions are rare, players become eligible to sign new deals when at least three years have passed since they signed their current contract. In Hill’s case, he’s in the final year of a deal he signed way back in July of 2012, making him extension-eligible even though he has only played a handful of games so far for the Jazz.
When teams sign players to veteran extensions, a renegotiation is typically involved in the transaction, allowing the player to receive a raise on his current-year salary. Cap space is necessary to accommodate such a raise, and the Jazz have no shortage of that — they’re currently more than $13.6MM under the cap, so they could give Hill a significant raise if they chose to extend him.
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Still, there could be roadblocks for the Jazz and Hill. For one, Derrick Favors is also eligible for an extension, so if Utah were to lock up Hill and use its cap room to give him a big raise, it would almost certainly rule out the possibility of a new deal for Favors this season. Additionally, Hill is less than eight months away from reaching the open market, at which point he could receive multiple big-money offers from rival suitors, so the Jazz will have to make him a fair, competitive offer if they want to keep him from exploring his options.
Hill has looked excellent in the early going for the Jazz after arriving from Indiana in a three-way trade this summer. In five games for his new team, the 30-year-old guard has averaged 21.4 PPG and 4.6 APG to go along with a shooting line of .548/.429/.882.