Hill would post a message on his Instagram account after the news was reported:
Hill, whom the Jazz acquired from the Indiana Pacers in a three-team trade following the 2015-16 season, was an unrestricted free agent. This comes after Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reported in March that the Jazz and Hill were in discussions on a contract extension.
MacMahon said the Jazz elected not to put in a waiver claim on Deron Williams in part because they wanted to use their remaining cap space of almost $14 million to extend Hill’s contract.
For his part, Hill seemed happy in Utah given his comments to ESPN in November, via MacMahon: “I really like it here. My family likes it here. I’ve got some friends here. The city’s been great for me so far, and it’s a nice place to raise a family, so hopefully I get an opportunity to re-sign here if they would love me to be here.”
Alas, his time there lasted a mere one season following Tuesday’s news.
The first-round pick in 2008 played the first three seasons of his career with the San Antonio Spurs and the next five with the Pacers. He averaged a career-high 16.9 points per game in his one season in a Jazz uniform thanks largely to 40.3 percent shooting from three-point range.
The 31-year-old provided veteran leadership at a point guard position that could have otherwise been in the hands of the unproven Dante Exum.
What’s more, Hill was one of the most important defenders on the Jazz. According to NBA.com, Utah’s defensive rating was 101.0 when Hill was on the court and a much less notable 103.8 when he was off the floor in 2016-17.
The combination of his scoring prowess and his stout perimeter defense helped transform the Jazz into a postseason team in the Western Conference, and he will look to replicate that formula moving forward for Sacramento.
The Kings are a rebuilding team after trading DeMarcus Cousins during the 2016-17 campaign, and adding someone of Hill’s caliber will help them compete for their first playoff spot since the 2005-06 season.
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