Indiana Pacers' George Hill's tenure with the San Antonio Spurs ended last night.
He was a fan, coach and front office favorite. Coach Gregg Popovich would often refer to George as his favorite player and upon trading him GM R.C. Buford said it was one of the most difficult decisions the Spurs had to make.
But what are the Pacers saying about their newest member?
Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird has been coveting ''Indiana'' George for years and spoke about that after the trade:
"We talked to them about George the last couple years," Bird said. "We've been talking to them the last couple weeks and we weren't really sure whether there would be any interest or not."
"He's an experienced player, he's been to the playoffs. He's a big guard. We like him because we know he's got length and can defend."
This isn't a move where a team drafts or acquires a player who grew up or played in college locally for an easy marketing angle. They really like Hill the ball player.
"It always helps, but George Hill is a good NBA player first of all, and it helps that he's from here," Bird said. "But we didn't trade for him because he's from Indianapolis. We traded for him because he's a good player."
The Pacers were building up a nice young team before they acquired Hill and this could put them over the hump talent-wise to grab a playoff spot in the East. They took a Chicago Bulls to task in the playoffs, have young players such as Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, Nick Collison, and Paul George, the addition of Hill just gives them another weapon on the court.
What do you think about this trade Spurs fans? Did the Spurs get the best of this trade or did the Pacers? Give us your take on it.
Not quite happy to see GH go, though Leonard looks like a good player who has good upside to be a lock-down defender as well as he has the size and physical tool to become a rebounding SF or active PF when playing small. If we can throw TP and RJ out in exchange for a defensive big and a verteran point guard this year we will be really really good.
@Texas2step I agree with you. The Spurs had 3 goals coming into this off season. Position themselves better economically and get better now and with an eye on the future. Now there's no way of knowing if they got better immediately with this move. But they did accomplish 2 out of 3 with this trade. Also, the Spurs ceiling in this trade is much higher then the Pacers.
george's a humble guy with a good heart. i remember reading he once bought 100 cheeseburgers and handed them out to the homeless in SA. i've been doing my research on kawhi leonard and i'm starting to like what i see. the spurs seem to be addressing the defensive issues. all in all, i'm optimistic about the trade, but also saddened we lost george. george will fit great in indy. i wish the best for him, and i hope he becomes the face of that franchise - he deserves it. good move by both teams. kawhi leonard is going to be an all star. this guy is "relentless."