The rebuilding OKC Thunder are looking to explore deals to trade George Hill ahead of NBA trade deadline day in a bid to rack up more draft assets. As a result, Hill has dominated the rumor mill of late, with multiple contenders showing interest in him with the season entering a crucial juncture.
Veteran George Hill isn't believed to be a part of the long-term plans of the OKC Thunder as they are now concentrating on developing their young stars for the future. However, the point guard could be a valuable addition for teams who are running for the championship this season.
George Hill was a key player for the Milwaukee Bucks last season in helping them reach the conference semis. He also led the three-point shooting percentages in the 2019-20 campaign, making 46% shots from beyond the arc.
He featured in 14 games for the OKC Thunder this season before being ruled out due to a thumb injury. During that stretch, he averaged 11.8 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game, shooting 50.8% from the field, including a 38.6% clip from downtown.
Three teams interested in George Hill ahead of the Trade Deadline Day
Top contenders looking to win the NBA championship this season are now on high-alert with regards to rumors surrounding various players across the trade market. George Hill appears to be one of those stars generating interest lately.
#3 LA Lakers
The LA Lakers were sailing at the start of the season, but the last few weeks have been torrid for them. With injuries to star players like Anthony Davis (who hasn't featured in more than a month) and LeBron James, who endured an ankle sprain recently, their problems have only grown.
This has led to them exploring their options to bolster their squad ahead of NBA trade deadline day and George Hill happens to be one of the targets.
The Lakers have been struggling from the three-point range this season, shooting just 35.1% clip from downtown while making a mere 10.4 shots per game, which is the second-worst in the league overall. Adding a player like George Hill could help them resolve this issue and also sort out their backcourt problems.
His season averages stack up well against every guard on the Lakers roster apart from Dennis Schroder, which could be something GM Rob Pelinka will be wary of.
However, the LA Lakers do not have a first-round pick available, which would be a stumbling block if they plan to package a trade deal for Hill. But as per Fischer, "there's hope among several teams that OKC will come to a buyout agreement with Hill."
If OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti does offer a buyout to Hill against all odds, the Lakers will fancy their chances of landing him.
#2 Philadelphia 76ers
Despite having had a great season so far, the Philadelphia 76ers are still looking at guard options to strengthen their hold on the top spot in the East standings. They have been linked to the likes of Kyle Lowry for the longest time, but George Hill has emerged as a cheaper yet more efficient option for them recently.
As per Fischer's report:
"Hill would not require them to move Danny Green's salary, the trade chip necessary for any Kyle Lowry transaction"
The Philadelphia 76ers are currently making just 10.8 three-pointers per game, and adding a lethal shooter like George Hill could improve that stat for them. He can be a valuable scorer coming off the bench and providing a solid 20 minutes of play.
This could help take pressure off Ben Simmons and allow him to rest more during the course of a game.
The 76ers have a first-round pick available at their disposal, which could intrigue the Thunder in talks with them for a trade move for George Hill ahead of NBA trade deadline day.
#1 LA Clippers
The LA Clippers are in dire need of a floor-general who could organize their lethal offense in the most efficient way possible. Patrick Beverley has failed miserably in that department this season.
Hill would be a solid upgrade on him. He is an effective playmaker who has the ability to get others involved and score a few points himself. On top of that, he is a decent defender and can help the Clippers do better in that department as well.
But just like their city rivals, the Clippers, too, do not have a first-round pick available to package a trade deal worthy of the OKC Thunder's interest.
But with deadline day nearing, the Clippers could look to go out of their way to make this deal work. It will be interesting to see what kind of package they present to Hill's current employers.