Jazz, Hawks, Pacers Pull Off First Trade of Offseason
By: Christian Milcos
The Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, and Utah Jazz have come to an agreement on a trade that will send Jeff Teague to the Pacers, George Hill to Salt Lake City and the 12th pick in the 2016 NBA draft to the Hawks, as first reported by Yahoo Sports.
What it means for the Hawks
Teague has been the subject of a plethora trade rumors since the trade deadline in mid-February. Hawks fans and media have heavily speculated that the team is looking to go in a younger direction at the point guard position in rising German star, Dennis Schroder. The Hawks are also receiving a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA draft. With this pick, ESPN insiders are reporting that the Hawks are either looking to take a wing such as Malachi Richardson or trade back in the draft. Atlanta’s first order of business in the off season will be to resign all star big man Al Horford who is gaining much interest from several teams around the league including Orlando, the Lakers and Indiana.
What it means for the Jazz
This deal finally gives Utah a steady option at the point guard position after going through a string of disappointments at the position over the past several years. Former lottery pick, Dante Exum was hyped as a future all-star but has had an injury riddled career since entering the league in 2014. Trey Burke out of Michigan has also failed to impress in his first couple of years in the league, averaging 12 points and four assists in 111 games. Now Hill and his eight million dollar expiring deal will look to bring some stability to a young Jazz squad. The Jazz will have over 30$ million in cap space going into the off season. This amount of cap space presents an opportunity for Utah to add a max level player such as Mike Conley or Harrison Barnes to vault them into the playoffs for the first time since the Deron Williams era.
What it means for the Pacers
Indiana is looking to build upon their experienced nucleus of Paul George, and Monta Ellis, in hopes of rebounding from their heartbreaking first round loss to Toronto last April. Salary wise, this trade doesn’t affect the Pacers’ ability to sign players as Teague and Hill both make eight million next season. The Pacers are now rumored to pursue big name free agents such as Al Horford in addition to resigning key veterans Lavoy Allen and Rodney Stuckey. Their recent addition of former Brooklyn power forward, Thad Young should give Indiana a stable starting unit and an opportunity to yet again compete for a playoff spot under new coach Nate McMillan.