The San Antonio Spurs surprised many last night in a draft day deal that sent George Hill to Indiana for the rights to the 15th pick, Kawhi Leonard, Erazem Lorbek and the 42nd pick, Davis Bertans.
Hill had been mentioned in trade rumors days leading up to the draft, and the Spurs decided to part with the third-year backup when the right deal came along.
Tonight was probably one of the most difficult nights in Spurs history since we've been here," Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford said. "To move a player like George Hill, who's meant so much to our team, our culture, our locker room was one of the most difficult decisions that we've made."
"Pop talked to him (Hill) tonight and plans to see him again tomorrow. Danny's talked to him tonight," Buford said. "It was difficult for us all to get to him. A very difficult conversation but a very sincere one. The thing we made George aware of, he's always a Spur."
Buford said the opportunity to get Leonard and some other "impactful opportunities" led the Spurs to send Hill back to his native Indianapolis.
"George has been a big part of everything we've done over the last three years and I'm not sure that that will be replaceable any time in the near future," Buford said. "But we think the talent level Kawhi has, the winning habits that he brings to our group give us an opportunity to add some talent to our team in a different location."
Leonard is a 6-7 forward that is more known for his defensive abilities and athleticism, but he won't be drawing comparisons to former Spur Bruce Bowen any time soon.