1:09pm: Hill and the Jazz won’t reach an agreement on a contract renegotiation-and-extension before tonight’s deadline, reports Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). That doesn’t rule out a long-term deal for Hill in Utah this summer though, as the club will hold his Bird rights when he hits the open market in July.
12:16pm: The Jazz are engaged in active discussions with George Hill about a potential contract extension, league sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. As MacMahon details, the two sides are attempting to work toward an agreement before tonight’s deadline for contract renegotiations.
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Hill indicated earlier in the season that he’d be “very interested” in discussing an extension with the Jazz, and while he hasn’t publicly addressed his contract situation recently, reports continue to suggest he’s receptive to the idea of a long-term stay in Utah. According to MacMahon, the Jazz are “determined” to lock up Hill to a multiyear deal this summer if the two sides don’t reach an agreement today.
Although veteran players can sign contract extensions right up until the end of June, a standard extension offers very modest raises on a player’s current-year salary, making it an unappealing option for someone like Hill, who is earning $8MM in 2016/17. However, as we detailed earlier today, a renegotiation-and-extension would allow Utah to increase Hill’s salary for this season and then tack on up to three additional years onto his deal.
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The Jazz currently have a league-high $13.64MM in salary cap room, so they could bump Hill’s salary up to about $21.64MM this season, then give him 7.5% raises in subsequent years. The maximum amount that the Jazz could offer Hill would be about $88.31MM in new money to lock him up through 2019/20, though I’d be surprised if the club is willing to go quite that high. Utah has a number of key players on track for new deals soon, including Rudy Gobert‘s extension set to go into effect in 2017/18 and Gordon Hayward likely to opt out this summer, and going up to the max for Hill would limit the team’s flexibility going forward.
Still, an extension for their starting point guard is a priority for the Jazz. According to MacMahon, one reason Utah declined to place a waiver claim on Deron Williams this week was because the team wanted to use that room on a contract for Hill instead. Derrick Favors is also eligible for a renegotiation-and-extension, but a Monday report suggested that the Jazz aren’t currently focusing on a new deal for Favors, who has one more year left on his contract.
After being acquired from the Pacers in an offseason trade, Hill has battled injuries a little this season, appearing in just 34 games for the Jazz. However, he has been a major part of the club’s success, recording a career-high 17.7 PPG to go along with 4.0 APG and a .413 3PT%. Utah has a 25-9 record when Hill takes the court, compared to a 12-13 mark when he sits.