19-4. The Utah Jazz are 19-4 when both George Hill and Gordon Hayward have played this year. Currently sitting 4th in the West at 33-19, we are seeing what this team can do with a legitimate NBA point guard. I give major props to Dennis Lindsay for turning the 12th pick of the draft (Taurean Prince) into George Hill.
Unfortunately, George Hill’s bargain contract is up at the end of the season. He is currently making 8 million/year, and is absolutely due for a raise. But what is the current going rate for a player of his quality and age? With Rudy locked up and a likely extension for Hayward on the horizon, how much can we pay Hill without jeopardizing the long-term outlook of the core? Rodney Hood, Dante Exum, Derrick Favors, and Trey Lyles aren’t all that far away from extensions of their own, so the money has to be spent wisely.
Here are a few “older” guards who in recent years who have averaged 15+ points, 3+ rebounds, 4+ assists, and 1+ steals a game and then signed a new contract. I’m leaving out guys in different tiers than Hill, like Stephen Curry or Chris Paul, so this list is only the players I consider comparable to the Jazz PG.
Keep in mind that the stats I present are their statistics the year prior to signing their current contracts.
- 2015-2016 Stats: 15.2 pts, 2.9 reb, 6.1 ast, 1.2 stl, 52.8 TS%, 115 ORtg, 110 DRtg
- Current Contract and age when signed: 5 year 156 million (30.5 per)—28 years old
- Personal Thoughts: The Grizzlies will eventually regret this contract. Maybe not as bad as the Jazz did the Kirilenko max, but the cap projections were actually lowered for upcoming seasons and I think the teams that overspent this last summer will pay for it later. He’s a great player, but he’s not 30 million dollars great.
- 2014-2015 Stats: 16.3 pts, 3.5 reb, 4.5 ast, 1.0 stl, 57.7 TS%, 112 ORtg, 110 DRtg
- Current Contract and age when signed: 5 year 85 million (17 per)—28 years old
- Personal Thoughts: This is probably the closest comparison to what Hill has done for us this year. Dragic is putting up even better numbers this year, so that contract is paying off for the Heat. I think this is in Hill’s ballpark, but Hill will get a little more considering the cap increases.
- 2013-2014 Stats: 17.9 pts, 4.9 reb, 7.4 ast, 1.5 stl, 56.7 TS%, 110 ORtg, 106 DRtg
- Current Contract and age when signed: 4 year 48 million (12 per)—27 years old
- Personal Thoughts: Lowry is opting out of the last year of his deal, so he will be a free agent again in the summer and get PAID! While Lowry will definitely get more $ than Hill, what he signs for could serve as a discussion point in negotiations with Hill.
Now how about George Hill this year?
- Current Stats: 17.7 pts, 3.6 reb, 4.1 ast, 1.0 stl, 60.4 TS%, 121 ORtg, 106 DRtg
The first thing I’d like to talk about is his age. I’ve heard/read comments about people not wanting to commit to the other half of GH^2 because he is already 30 years old. But look at his age and total minutes played in comparison to other top guards. Chris Paul: 31 years old and 28,837 minutes played. Kyle Lowry: 30 years old and 21,774 minutes played. Mike Conley 29 years old and 22,061 minutes played. Goran Dragic: 30 years old and 16,914 minutes played. George Hill: 30 years old and 16,706 minutes played. Hill has played a couple season’s worth of minutes less than Conley and Lowry. Heck even Stephen Curry has already played more minutes than Hill. If these other teams don’t seem too concerned about the age of their guards, why should we be? Plus he doesn’t rely on his athleticism too much, so his game should age well.
Another determining factor for an individual free agent is what the free agent class as a whole looks like. Simple supply and demand can drive down the price of a particular player. The reverse, of course, can also be true (I see you Timofey Mozgov and Evan Turner). Here are the top free agent guards joining George Hill if they hit free agency this upcoming summer: Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, Patty Mills, Shaun Livingston, and Darren Collison. That’s a pretty stacked class if you ask me, and that’s just the point guards. I’d probably put Hill in the third tier with Holiday and Teague. Steph and CP3 will get maxes, and if Lowry doesn’t get a max he will be close. It will be interesting to see how the market values that next tier or 2 of players.
Overall I have Hill ranked as the 11th or 12th best point guard in the league. For the 2017 season, the 9th-12th highest paid point guards (Reggie Jackson, Dennis Schroeder, Tony Parker, and Eric Bledsoe) will be making 14.5-16 million/year.
My personal thoughts and projections on Hill? He is such a Jazzman. I think he loves playing (and winning) here, enjoys the family friendly state, and really gels with this team. I also think the coaching staff and FO value him enough to bring him back, even if that’s at the expense of a current player or 2 on the roster. He brings too much to this team and has been a key part to the success this season. He’s probably the top priority to extend in the offseason if it doesn’t get done before the deadline.
I see the Jazz giving him a 3 year deal worth somewhere between 16-20 million a year. I’m sure this sounds too high for some and too low for others, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
So I ask you, would you extend George Hill and for how much?