Morning links: George Hill could get an ‘unexpected’ max deal; Alex Smith ranked a top 15 QB

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report looked at some NBA free agents who could receive unexpected max contracts, and George Hill of the Utah Jazz made the list.

“George Hill played well enough through 49 appearances with the Utah Jazz for them to prepare for the worst,” Favale wrote.

Favale looked at Hill’s production when he was on the floor.

“Unlike most point guards, Hill’s impact isn’t related to having the ball in his hands,” Favale wrote. “He put down more than 40 percent of his spot-up threes in Utah, and there won’t be a correlation between his offensive usage and effort on the defensive end.

“Actual All-Stars can be harder to fit in and even harder to appease. Hill, as he showed in Utah, can play off anyone while running functioning pick-and-rolls when he gets the chance. He finished 2016-17 in the 92nd percentile of pick-and-roll efficiency; he’s basically a taller, more toned-down version of Kyle Lowry.”

Favale then explains how Hill’s market value could be set by the Jazz, how much the team has to spend, and if they are able to keep Gordon Hayward.

“Re-sign Hayward, and they’ll want to retain the fringe star who helps them make the most of their best player’s return,” Favale wrote. “Paying Hill $20-plus million annually is easy to defend when he’s the finishing touch to a dark-horse contender.”

Alex Smith ranked a top 15 NFL quarterback

Bill Bender of Sporting News ranked the starting quarterbacks in the NFL for the 2017 season, and former Utah signal caller Alex Smith came in at No. 14 on the list.

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