Some Pacers fans are concerned that the Pacers will not re-sign George Hill this offseason. He has proved to be an excellent addition to the team who, along with David West, has taken this team from middling also-ran to near-contender. So of course Hoosiers love a home-town kid who can help the team be so successful. But perhaps more than that, losing him in free agency this summer (he becomes a restricted free agent in July) would mean that the franchise gave up Kawhi Leonard, a starter on the Spurs, the best team in the Western Conference, for a one-year rental of a guy who came off the bench for most of the season.
The front office, presumably, has similar concerns and likely made the trade with the idea that Hill, who has now played high school, college and professional basketball in Indianapolis, would be a part of the team’s long-term plans. That is why it was odd that there was so little discussion about him getting an extension this season. Now, if another team offers Hill more than the Pacers are willing to pay (per the collective bargaining agreement, Indiana has a right to match any offer another team makes), Hill will not be playing in Indiana next year.
A report from the Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News adds a little clarity, however. According to Lawrence, the Pacers did offer Hill a $6 million-per-year extension before the season even started. But Hill and his agent declined, instead opting to play out the year, presumably because they thought they could get a better deal after a high-level year of play by the combo guard.
Pacers PG George Hill is helping his value. He turned down a $6 million-per-year extension before the season and now might get more this summer as a restricted free agent. The Spurs and Tim Duncan, especially, want him to return to San Antonio, but San Antonio might not be able to afford him.
The report doesn’t say anything about the amount of years on the offer, so that may have been the sticking point more so than the dollar amount. Then again, it’s easy to see Hill and his representative thinking they can get Hill something closer to $8-$9 million per year.
Regardless, my bet is that Indiana does still retain Hill this summer.
But, especially if he has a monster series against the Heat, they might have to pay a little more.