Contract talks reportedly break down between Jazz, George Hill

The Utah Jazz and George Hill had discussions about a contract extension, but sources said the point guard opted not to accept a deal and will become a free agent in July.

Hill still figures prominently in the Jazz's future plans even though he has opted test the open market in July, sources told ESPN.

Hill declined to comment on the contract discussions or the potential of a long-term future in Utah for him following the Jazz's 109-106 loss Tuesday night to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"I don't want to talk about none of that," Hill said. "I'm just here to win games right now."

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday afternoon that extension talks between the Jazz and Hill had broken off.

The Jazz attempted to lock up the 30-year-old Hill by restructuring and extending his current contract, which cannot be done between March 1 and June 30 of any salary cap year, making Tuesday the deadline for Utah and its point guard. However, sources told ESPN that Hill has been advised that he could receive a significantly larger contract by waiting to become a free agent.

Utah was limited to offering Hill -- who is making $8 million in the final season of his contract -- the rest of its cap space this season and an extension of three years with annual raises of 7.5 percent. Therefore, the best offer Utah could make Hill was for $88.3 million to be committed to the Jazz through the 2019-20 season, which computes to a three-year, $74.7 million extension plus the $13.6 million of available cap space this season.

Hill would be eligible to sign a five-year deal with the Jazz or a four-year deal with another team as a free agent.

Hill has previously indicated a strong interest in remaining in Utah.

"I really like it here," Hill told ESPN in November. "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."

Hill, who Utah acquired from the Indiana Pacers in a three-team deal, has been a major factor in the Jazz positioning themselves to fight for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs despite dealing with nagging injuries this season. He ranks second on the Jazz in scoring (17.7 points per game) and first in assists (4.0), filling a major void at point guard. Utah is 25-10 when Hill plays and 12-13 when he sits out this season.

Among the reasons that Utah declined to put in a waiver claim on former Jazz star Deron Williams earlier this week, according to league sources, is because the club wants to use its nearly $14 million in available cap space to renegotiate and extend Hill's current contract.

Adding Williams' $9 million salary would have essentially forfeited Utah's means to attempt to attempt to sign Hill to an extension, since it needed the cap space to make an offer attractive enough for the 30-year-old to consider surrendering the right to become a free agent this summer.

The Jazz also had concerns about stunting the development of 21-year-old backup point guard Dante Exum, a former fifth overall pick who made significant strides recently and appears to have regained his elite athleticism after recovering from a knee injury that sidelined him last season.