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George Hill won't have to fork over any extra cash to make sure he's wearing the No. 3 jersey next season for the Utah Jazz.
As the NBA's July moratorium lifted Thursday, the Jazz officially parted ways with point guard Trey Burke while bringing Hill into the fold.
And with two more veteran acquisitions pending, a young Jazz team that narrowly missed out on the playoffs last April has quickly become one of the darlings of the NBA offseason and an early pick to climb into the middle of the Western Conference playoff picture.
"I think strategically it makes sense," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said Thursday. "We weren't going to add 19- and 20-year-olds at every stop. There was going to point where we looked to add veteran players. The question really was when?"
And the answer seems to be now.
"We don't want to be in a rebuild in perpetuity," Lindsey added.
The general manager declined to comment on pending additions, but sources have confirmed to The Tribune that the team has reached an agreement to sign veteran forward Joe Johnson to a two-year deal worth $22 million and a deal to acquire forward Boris Diaw from the San Antonio Spurs.
Those deals are expected to be announced in the coming days, as parties finalize the agreements.
On Thursday, meanwhile, the Jazz announced the trade for Hill would be completed pending physicals.
The move, a three-team trade, sends rookie forward Taurean Prince, the Jazz's No. 12 draft pick last month, to Atlanta. The Hawks will send former All-Star point guard Jeff Teague to Indianapolis and the Pacers will send Hill to Salt Lake City.
After finishing 40-42 and faltering in the season's final stretch, Jazz officials identified a core of key needs for the offseason: shooting, experience, and physicality.
"When we put it all together, we felt like George was a good fit to address several needs," Lindsey said.
The 30-year-old Hill averaged 12 points and 3.5 assists last season for the Pacers, his eighth in the NBA. Hill, a solid defender, knows Lindsey from their time together with the Spurs organization.
"I think he's consistent with our core values: tough, smart, serious, a good teammate," Lindsey said.
The veteran should also provide a soft landing for point guard Danté Exum as he returns from an ACL tear that cost him the entirety of last season. After nearly a year off the court, Lindsey said the Aussie point guard is progressing well.
"There have been no setbacks," he said. "But as you can imagine, we're going to be quite protective."
Exum has been participating in contact activities since June, playing one-on-one, three-on-three and five-on-five games at the Jazz's practice facility.
"That went well," Lindsey said. "No setbacks."
The Jazz's trade of Burke, meanwhile, helps clear cap and roster space while giving the former college player of the year a chance to reset his career after three up-and-down years in Utah. The Jazz received a second-round pick in 2021 from the Washington Wizards in exchange for the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft.
Burke came to Utah with high expectations and averaged better than 12 points and four assists during his time with the Jazz.
But by the end of last year, Burke had fallen out of coach Quin Snyder's rotation completely, in large part because of his defensive deficiencies. With point guards Hill, Exum, Raul Neto and Shelvin Mack on the Jazz roster, Lindsey said the move "helps Trey and helps us in a small way as well."
"When there's not a clear path to the floor for a young player, a young talented player like Trey, then you have to do the right thing," Lindsey said.