Hill will suit up for Thunder

Hill will suit up for Thunder

CHAMPAIGN — Malcolm Hill had options following Thursday night’s NBA draft.

The former Illinois guard wasn’t one of the 60 players selected during the two rounds, but he still had interest from a handful of teams.

One of those teams was at the top of Hill’s list since his May workout.

The Oklahoma City Thunder reciprocated those feelings, coming to an agreement with Hill shortly after the draft ended to play for their team in the Orlando Summer League after a half-dozen conversations with his representation throughout the pre-draft process.

“When he worked out there, he liked the entire staff,” said Adam Pensack, Hill’s agent. “Malcolm probably watches more NBA than any other player. He knows every roster and every team and every scheme. He likes the way they play. They’ve got high character guys there. I think he felt it was a natural fit from a basketball standpoint and from an off-the-court standpoint.

“There were a handful of teams that liked Malcolm. OKC, their entire front office was on board with this. The feeling from OKC was just the best.”

Pensack said part of his discussions with Hill during the pre-draft process were about the options available to players with a chance to be late second-round picks.

Some teams select players with the express intent of sending them directly to Europe or the newly-christened NBA G-League.

The coming NBA roster expansion and advent of two-way contracts — making G-League players the 16th and 17th players on an NBA roster — created more options.

While Hill has an agreement for the Summer League with Oklahoma City, he retains contractual flexibility. A good Summer League showing in Orlando — set to start July 1 — could open even more doors.

“The bottom line is he’s playing for the entire NBA,” Pensack said. “He needs to take advantage of every opportunity. He has to go into Summer League and show his versatility.”

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