The motives behind the trade that sent shock waves through the San Antonio Spurs community is being questioned by at least one media member.
In his Sunday column, Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News wonders if George Hill was traded for purely financial reasons.
Lawrence questions if Hill was only traded because the Spurs didn't want to pay him more than his rookie contract after this coming season. Lawrence adds that once Tony Parker backed off his previous statements he made to the French media, the franchise deemed Hill expendable. Lawrence even questioned whether Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford was being truthful when he said trading Hill was one of the hardest days in franchise history.
"You would have thought that they had moved Duncan in his prime. General manager R.C. Buford called it "one of the most difficult nights in Spurs history since we've been here." In fact, it wasn't. As much as they liked Hill's work ethic, they had no intention of meeting his salary demands."
It should also be noted that Lawrence didn't given any kind of source whatsoever behind his idea that Hill was only a cap casualty. How much the Spurs were actively shopping Parker we may never know, but the fact remains, several media outlets reported both Parker and Hill were available for the right price.
Lawrence appears to make it very cut-and-dry that Hill was someone the Spurs didn't have in their future plans. Though Lawrence did state Kawhi Leonard is the type of player the Spurs need, he chose to ignore Leonard's favorable qualities and was quick to reiterate Leonard's less-than-stellar shooting touch. Lawrence also ignored the other two pieces the Spurs got in exchange for Hill.
Davis Bertans was someone rumored to be in the mix for the Spurs at No. 29 and Erazem Lorbek looks like he can play at the NBA level. If you haven't already, Youtube him. It's also important to note Buford said on draft night the Spurs may not be done trading, so it's not a certainty Parker or any other Spur will be in a Spurs uniform come next season. If there is a next season.
Spurs fans, what do you think of Lawrence's statements? Was Hill merely a salary cap casualty or was the value for trading him just higher than what any Parker/Richard Jefferson trade would've netted?
With Kawhi's defensive abilities and toughness at the SF spot, the spurs improved. If Daniel Green makes the team playing SG, then the Defense and toughness is back in San Antonio. The PG they drafted from Texas has skills and leadership qualities. The new offense revolved around Parker and he improved in every category statistically last year so it is hard to imagine Parker being traded.
Please stop the RJ hating, its ignorant. he makes too much but is not garbage. The guy still shot over 40% from 3's. There only a few sf shooting close to this. His defense isn't special but adequate. Getting rid of him for nothing is stupid.
Who has a young more skilled group than SA. All analysis that says the Spurs are done. flies in the face of what we just witnessed with the older Mavs. Size matters but Randolph is barely 6'9" and kicked butt.
Get rational and find someplace to release your frustration but be fair.
The guy is obviously stoned when he wrote that piece. Anyways he's from NY, The last time they won a championship there everybody is on pot and were all hippies.
Even the spurs traded for parker and jefferson on the draft day, the spurs still select kawhi leonard regardless of what pick number it was. They likely love kawhi regardless of his talent. We don't know it yet what kawhi can contribute with his team or maybe he was just an upset like jefferson. Joseph was far less ability than Hill. Its clearly disappointing the spurs pick joseph that early in the 1st round he could still be available even at 59th pick or even left behind undrafted. For the past 3 years,, I dont know if the Spurs are good enough when drafting players. Pop, talks about Hill his favorite player and that's clearly stupid 'coz I think Hill doesn't really learn about the Spurs System just like Jefferson. That's made them expendable. Pop clearly improving Hill's talent just for an trade asset. I don't think it was the darkest day of spurs history when they traded hill. In short, Hill's talent is not worth 5M. Hill only stuck with 3M max.
For the record, I do think the Spurs thought it was a bonus that they were trading Hill for another rookie contract, but didn't trade him just because they didn't want to pay him a year from now. Clearly they got good value for Hill and if they would've gotten better value for Tony Parker, than they would've made that deal.
@yowhatupT The Daily News writers statements lack nuance. I'm with you on your summary of the situation.They are just trying to get the best deal's. The Spurs seem to be trying to rebuild by still remaining competitive which is difficult to pull off. R.C has the pieces to be able to do it though.
@JakeFaunce @yowhatupT Pieces to what, a run for the championship? I don't think so. TP was right and mgnt must thank him for being truthful and frank! The grizzlies proved it. A writer said Mr. Buford displayed his testicles in trading Hill. Now lets see how big really they are! No more 6'7"s. It does not work. Trade rj or buy him out. Financially it will bite but, in the long haul the payback will be sweet and rewarding.
@yowhatupT i agree. and why should Lawrence questioned one of the best, if not, the best G.M. in the league? it was one of the most difficult choices in Spurs history because Hill was one of our best defenders, a great young talent , a fan favorite, and even Pop dubbed him "his favorite player." besides, why should we listen to a NEW YORK writer when a lot of us really don't care about the New York media? shouldn't he be worried about his Knicks and their horrible draft night? lol.
@yowhatup@RG8907 this is all water under the bridge. The spurs must move on. As a first step, at their minicamp this week invite free agents if possible now and limit it to power forwards age not older than 27, height at least 6'10" and centers of the age, height at least 6'11"; undrafted power forwards at least 6'10" and centers at least 6'11". Its time to invest. Basketball game demands height. Spurs must reduce number of sgs and sfs.