George Hill Trade
June 24, 2011 by staff
George Hill Trade, Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird has spent the last two years talking about the need to acquire veteran players to accelerate the development team. Ave made Thursday night, and did, also bringing back a prominent local house. The Pacers acquired George Hill, a graduate of Broad Ripple High School and former star of IUPUI, the San Antonio Spurs for the No.’s NBA draft pick 15 – San Diego State Kawhia, Leonard – and pick No. 42 – Davis Bertans great man.
The Pacers also renounced rights to forward Erazem Lorbek, who has been playing in Europe since 2005.
The Pacers used part of the trade exception and 3.5 million have been acquired in the deal Troy Murphy with the New Jersey Nets last summer to get Hill.
“Very emotional right now,” Hill wrote in his Twitter page. “But I want to thank everyone for all the support. (San Antonio) has been great for me and I’ll never forget.”
Keep Leonard, 19, means that the Pacers would probably have to wait at least a year before becoming a regular contributor. It was designed to be a Top-10. The Pacers, who made the playoffs for the first time since 2006, have spent the last couple of seasons to develop players.
Hill, 25, could have an immediate impact with the Pacers.
He was not recruited heavily from high school, but went on to become a star at IUPUI and was drafted by the Spurs as No. 26 in the draft 2008.
“I think it’s great for the Pacers, ideal for George, and ultimately great for IUPUI,” said coach Todd Howard IUPUI in a statement released by the school. “It’s been an ambassador for our program and it’s great that you will have the opportunity to continue to demonstrate their skills in their hometown.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, quickly became a fan of the Hill for his work ethic and versatility.
“We can put a (shooting guard), which can protect kids, runs the floor well and is a good rebounder,” Popovich said during an interview in 2009.
Bird has his eye on the hill since he entered the NBA. Bird talked to Spurs Hill in the summer of 2010, before the Pacers changed by Darren Collison.
“We are very pleased to have a player who has NBA experience,” said Bird.
“We’ve been after him for a while. San Antonio always said they had no interest in trading him.”
Hill played a key role off the bench and starting for the injured Tony Parker, at times during his three years with the Spurs.
Hill averaged 11.6 points and 2.5 assists last season for Spurs.
The addition of Hill generates an interesting competition between him and Collison for the position of point guard.
Collison started all 79 games he appeared in last season and was never threatened after TJ Ford was dropped by former coach Jim O’Brien.
Hill averaged 14.8 points and 3.6 assists in 55 starts, compared to 8.4 points in 176 games from the bench in his career.
Hill, like Lance Stephenson, can play both guard positions.
“It will be good competition, which will only make us better,” Collison said in a telephone interview. “It’s a very good defender and can play both guard spots.” Hill’s defense capability means that the Pacers do not have to assign Paul George to defend the owners.
Hill also likely signals the end of A.J. Price time with the Pacers. The Pacers have to improve their frontcourt depth after free agency begins after a wait of lock in the NBA. Great men of Jeff Foster, Josh McRoberts and Solomon Jones are unrestricted free agents.
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