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NBA Cavaliers unable to move forward



Published: Fri, February 21, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



It looks like veteran Tyrone Hill will remain a sub for Cleveland.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Tyrone Hill would rather be anywhere than sitting on the Cleveland Cavaliers' bench. Looks like he's stuck there, though.

Unhappy with his lack of playing time this season, Hill had hoped to be dealt before Thursday's NBA trading deadline. But the Cavs were unable to strike a deal for the 12-year veteran forward.

"I've had a good career," the 34-year-old said. "I don't want it to end this way."

Cavaliers general manager Jim Paxson said there was "some interest" from other teams in acquiring Hill, who will be a free agent after this season.

Willing to trade

Paxson said the Cavaliers were willing to trade Hill only if they could get a player back who could help them. Another concern was that the team didn't want to inherit another expensive contract.

Hill is making $6.6 million this season.

"There wasn't a deal like that to be made for Tyrone," said Paxson, who added that he has been in contact with Hill's agent. "So Tyrone is still on our team."

That's not what Hill was hoping for in the last hours before the 3 p.m. deadline.

Following Thursday's practice at Gund Arena, Hill expressed his frustration at having to watch as the Cavaliers develop young front-line players Chris Mihm and Carols Boozer.

Hill started 25 games this season, but hasn't played since Feb. 2 -- a span of five games.

"I have no idea," he said when asked why he hasn't gotten any playing time lately. "I'm not hurt. They tell me they're trying to develop the young guys."

So will he be disappointed if he's not traded?

"Who would be happy in my situation?" he said. "You'd be disappointed, too, if your boss told you to take a back seat to someone else."

Paxson, who reacquired Hill before last season in a trade with Philadelphia, said the 6-foot-9 forward is healthy and was not being disciplined.

Hill has been productive when he has been on the floor. In 32 games, he's averaging 6.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He can still flex his muscles when he needs to.

And although he's unhappy about not playing, Hill insists he won't become a distraction.

"I'm at peace where I am in my career," said Hill, an All-Star in 1995 during his first stint in Cleveland. "I come to work. I keep myself in great shape."

Could go

There's still a chance Hill could end up elsewhere this season.

If a contending team wants to sign him before playoff rosters are set in early March, Hill could ask the Cavs to release him. However, he would have to give back some salary to get out of his current contract.

Paxson said Hill has not asked to be released. He also said the club would be willing to work with him should a playoff team come calling.




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