Buried in the team's playing rotation behind a glut of wing players, the Pacers are now said to be listening to offers for their first round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft after electing not to exercise his fourth-year player option, reports ESPN's Marc Stein:
The Pacers, amid their stunning 12-5 start, have made swingman Solomon Hill available via trade, according to league sources. A first-round draftee as recently as 2013, Hill is out there after falling out of favor in Indiana despite playing in all 82 games last season and averaging 29.0 minutes in 2014-15 for the old, plodding Pacers. ...
With Paul George missing 76 games during the 2013-14 season, Solomon Hill started 78 games at the small forward position and led the Pacers in total minutes played (2,381), averaging 8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists on 39.6 percent shooting. Hill has since been replaced in the team's playing rotation, not only by George, but also by new acquisitions Chase Budinger and Glenn Robinson III, following a disappointing stint at the Orlando Pro Summer League, where he averaged 4.7 points and 3.0 rebounds over three games.
Though he continues to be one of the team's most versatile defenders, playing 12 key minutes down the stretch against Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson during the Pacers recent win over the Chicago Bulls, Hill's erratic shooting is somewhat of a liability in the team's new pace and space offense.
Through 18 games, Budinger and Robinson III have already combined to make nearly a third (21) of the three-pointers Hill made all of last season (68). Both of his replacements are shooting over 40 percent from the three-point line, which makes each of them a more natural complement to Monta Ellis and Rodney Stuckey's drive-and-dish tendencies.
Prior to the start of the season, Larry Bird admitted he had been trying to acquire Glenn Robinson III for a year. Like Lance Stephenson and Paul George before him, Bird saw something in Robinson III.
"He's very impressive to me," Bird told the Indy Star's Gregg Doyel. "He's long strong and big."
Robinson III has played more than three times as many total minutes as Hill this season.
The Indianapolis Star's Candace Buckner reports that the New Orleans Pelicans, in need of depth at the small forward position and bench scoring, are among the teams interested in the third-year player:
Can confirm @ESPNSteinLine's report about Solomon Hill being on trade block. I'm hearing NOLA Pelicans are among those interested.— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) December 5, 2015
Only six players on New Orleans' roster are currently trade eligible, one of those names (Quincy Pondexter) remains sidelined in his recovery from knee surgery. The other five players would require the Pacers to sweeten the pot substantially in order to make a swap feasible. Which means no deal with the Pelicans is probably going to gain any traction at least until December 15, when the trade restriction for free agents who signed contracts over the summer expires.
"You've just got to stay positive," Hill told Pacers.com's Mark Montieth regarding his decreased role, following Indiana's win over Chicago. "This is a business. Nothing's owed to nobody in this league. You have franchise guys who dictate how things go, but everybody else just falls in order. I have no right to be mad about my situation."