On the same day that the Cleveland Cavaliers are linked with elite bench scorer and soon-to-be-All-Star-snub L.A. Clippers guard Lou Williams, there comes another report of another guard they are said to be interested in.
Marc Stein of the New York Times adds that in addition to Williams, DeAndre Jordan and pretty much every other significant name on the trade market, the Cavaliers are also discussing possibly trading with the Sacramento Kings, with discussions centred around wantaway combo guard George Hill.
At this point, assume Cleveland is in the running for every decent veteran.
While he is in a bit of a down season in his first year in Sacramento, Hill is still exactly that, a decent veteran who does not star but who has no significant weaknesses in his game.
This is not immediately obvious to begin with. On the season, Hill averages 10.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 27.2 minutes per game, shooting 46.2% from the field and 45.6% from three-point range. None of those numbers except the three-point shooting are large, and all are down from the 16.9 points, 4.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds he averaged last season with the Utah Jazz.
Concurrent with this statistical decline, Hill's price has gone up. Whereas he had cost exactly $10 million over each of the last four seasons, Hill is currently in the first year of a three year, $57 million contract with Sacramento, and for this kind of money, that is not a lot of production.
However, what Hill showed in his time in Utah is that, given the right system, he can flourish.
An unconventional type of point guard who plays better off the ball than on it, Hill is more like Avery Bradley if Bradley brought the ball up - cutting, diving, spotting up, working open for shots and driving less around screens and into the trees than many of his peers - than he is an offensive force like Isaiah Thomas. Hill is a very good decision maker on both ends who is undynamic yet reliable, all of which are qualities the Cavaliers need right now.
To that extent, he would be a good potential fit on this Cavaliers team. Hill need not much be a creator on a team that already has LeBron James's playmaking at forward and Isaiah Thomas alongside him in the backcourt. He need only pick his spots to score, step up if needed, and shore up a backcourt that is very leaky defensively. [Hill has been below average defensively this year, but has been above average in all other seasons, so we will assume he can get back to that.]
Also on the season, there is more to like about Hill's numbers than a first glance suggests. Hill scores the ball with a 58.8% true shooting percentage, and leads his team in offensive rating. Apart from the random sudden drop-off of his floater, he is playing much the same style and level of game in a very different situation, a disjointed Kings team that does not get him the off-ball looks he would normally benefit from.
It seems increasingly certain that Cleveland are committed to making a move before the upcoming trade deadline. And so they should. Losers of eight of their past eleven games, with two of the wins in that streak being thoroughly unconvincing as well, the Cavaliers look decidedly unthreatening right now, and are not in title contendership at this level. With the spectre of LeBron James's permanent free agency in place as well, the Cavaliers need to make moves lest he leave again.
Because of the fact that his raw numbers are below where they would normally be, Hill's price in trade may be lowered accordingly. If targeting a player such as Williams who is at the peak of his powers, Cleveland might have to pay a premium. Yet given their renewed commitment to developing their youth, the presence of both De'Aaron Fox and Frank Mason at point guard, and Hill's cost relative to his performance, Sacramento's price for Hill might not be as high as that. And considering that Hill's career is enough evidence to suggest that he has more to offer in the right situation, Cleveland may be thinking that they can buy low on a player of some significance going forward.
The union, in this respect, makes sense. But this alone ought not be it. Cleveland will be hoping a trade for George Hill would be only one part of a multi-stage plan.News Now - Sport News