INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Pacers traded one Indianapolis native for another Wednesday, sending George Hill to Utah and acquiring Jeff Teague in a point guard swap that also includes Atlanta.
While the deal cannot be announced officially, Hill’s agent, Bill Neff, confirmed the details.
Atlanta receives the No. 12 overall pick in Thursday night’s draft.
In Teague, Indiana gets the true point guard it has long wanted while Hill adds defense and depth to a spot that could be in flux for the Jazz if point guard Dante Exum comes back slower than expected from a torn ACL that cost him the entire 2015-16 season.
Hill and Teague both have one year left on their current deals and each is scheduled to make $8 million this season.
Hill was a fixture in the Pacers’ starting lineup after being acquired from San Antonio in a draft-night deal in 2011. After starting nine games in his first season in Indiana, where he grew up and played college basketball, he started 270 games — including 73 or more in three of the past four seasons, and had a scoring average in double figures during each of those four seasons.
He also was one of the team’s better defenders and played a key role in helping the Pacers reach back-to-back Eastern Conference finals in 2013 and 2014. And when Paul George missed all but six games in 2014-15, Hill averaged 16.1 points, 5.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds, all career highs. The 30-year-old has career averages of 11.3 points, 3.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds in eight seasons.
All those traits should all help a Jazz team trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12.
“Nobody likes to be traded,” Neff said. “But now that we’ve had a chance to talk, he realizes he’s going to from a team that was willing to trade him to a team that wanted to trade for him.”
What the Pacers were looking for was a point guard who could play at a faster pace in their small-ball transition.
Teague certainly fits the bill. Teague started 78 of 79 games last season and averaged 15.7 points and 5.9 assists. In seven pro seasons, he’s averaged 12.1 points, 5.2 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals.
At 28, he’s younger and is just two years removed from his first All-Star selection.
“Clearly, the Pacers wanted to go faster and Jeff Teague is faster,” Neff said. “But we think Utah is very much a team on the rise.”
With the Hawks looking to move point guard Dennis Schroder into a more visible role and Teague using Twitter after the season to imply he wouldn’t be back in Atlanta next season, the Hawks finally made the deal.