Young teams at the stage of nesting like the Indiana Pacers will always greatly benefit from having some veteran infusion to keep things at bay and bond the locker room together through thick and thin. After all, at their current phase, it would be more realistic to expect the team to face more adversities than most.
That is exactly why the Pacers brought former guard George Hill back to the team. Acquired during the Jordan Nwora trade, the front office gave the veteran a choice to remain with the club or chase a ring elsewhere — rather surprisingly, he chose the former, ending the year with the Blue and Gold.
Now, it seems like Hill, a beloved veteran in the Circle City, does not intend on cutting short his second stint with the franchise.
George Hill wants Udonis Haslem-like role with the Indiana Pacers to end his career
At this point in his career, it makes little sense to invest a heavy role and an attendant prominent court time allocation to George Hill. While the 15-year veteran has long been one of the more understatedly effective role players in the league, the Indiana Pacers are not exactly at a situation where veterans are more viable options than youngsters in the hardwood.
Instead, Hill is eyeing a “Udonis Haslem-like” role with the team — and for good reason. The 37-year-old has seen it all in Indiana, having been a part of teams on the rise that eventually bloomed as bona fide NBA contenders in the early 2010s.
"To get the opportunity to come back here and try to hopefully pull off like a Udonis role for many years, and the organization where it means so much. It would be an honor."
Known as a silent operator on the defensive end of the floor while bringing efficient shooting night in and out, Hill can show the Pacers young guns a thing or two on how to be sustainably successful in the league, especially on defense, where the team ranked in the bottom-five this season.
Better yet, in a Haslem-like role, Hill can provide the team with an additional ear whom players can relate to in a different sheen from the coaching staff. As seen with Miami, it helps to have a player who can be upfront with the team and steer the wheel for them in the background.
Hopefully, the Indiana Pacers remain keen on bringing George Hill back as a solid veteran presence for the team as they try to get into the postseason scene next season, a scenery that is all too familiar to him.