Eastern Notes: Hill, DeRozan, LaVine, Noel, White

The Pacers gave George Hill the option of being waived after acquiring him from the Bucks, so that he could hook onto a contender. Hill declined the offer and hopes he can stay with the franchise he played for from 2011-16 beyond this season, according to Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star. Hill will be a free agent this summer.

“I’ve thought long and hard and I think that’s the biggest reason why I chose to stay here and not try to get out and go somewhere else. I felt like I still have a lot left to offer, either on the floor or to pick the brain and being a vet,” Hill said of becoming a mentor for the Pacers’ younger players. “Definitely don’t want it to be kind of like a rental opportunity. And would love to stay here for some years and grow with these young guys.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • After a Bulls loss to Cleveland on Saturday, DeMar DeRozan said that he and Zach LaVine must establish a better rhythm during crunch time, Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times writes. “We’ve just got to do a better job of understanding possessions in a game,’’ DeRozan said. “I wouldn’t put it on teams having us figured out. I’d say 85% of it is picking and choosing on understanding the possession and not feeling so rushed into trying to hit a home run every possession. … It’s about us playing the game the right way, understanding what needs to be done, how we can play off one another, how we can use each other to help everyone else on the team to be in better position to make plays for us as well. It’s on us more than anything.’’
  • If Nerlens Noel chooses the buyout route with the Pistons, the Sixers would be interested in him as a backup to Joel Embiid, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has been a fan of Noel’s playing style for some time, Pompey writes, noting that the big man could serve as the sort of rim protector Philadelphia is lacking on its second unit.
  • Derrick White has been a solid and steady contributor since the Celtics acquired him from San Antonio last season, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston writes. White hasn’t missed a game since the trade and has the best plus/minus rating on any player on the team except for Robert Williams, who has missed a chunk of the season. White is signed through the 2024/25 season.
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