Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 9:20 am  |  31 responses

Spurs: It Was Tough Trading Away George Hill

According to GM RC Buford, dealing away George Hill was one of the toughest things he’s ever had to do. From the Express-News: “Shortly after 11 o’clock Thursday night, Spurs general manager R.C. Buford emerged from the team’s draft war room, the wear and tear of the previous 24 hours stretched across his face. Tony Parker was still the Spurs’ point guard, after several hours of discussions that might have sent him elsewhere fizzled. But in a move that did not come without its own share of second-guessing and anguish, Parker’s backup, George Hill was not. In a deal that by default constitutes the boldest draft-day maneuvering of their post-championship era, the Spurs traded Hill — a key bench guard who coach Gregg Popovich once lauded as ‘my favorite player’ — to Indiana for a package highlighted by Kawhi Leonard, a high-energy small forward the Pacers selected with the 15th overall pick. Though the Spurs are intrigued by Leonard, who at 6-foot-7 gives the Spurs added size at a position where they were small, Buford made clear the night was bittersweet. ‘This might have been one of the most difficult nights in Spurs history, as long as we’ve been here,’ Buford said. ‘To lose a player like George Hill, who has meant so much to our team, to our culture, to our locker room … it’s one of the most difficult decisions we’ve had to make.’”

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  • Riggs

    it wasnt that hard if you had to give him away for a rookie.

  • IndyB

    Thanks R.C.

  • Overtime

    So who plays back up PG now?
    Strange that they did this, but as Jeff Van Gundy wisely pointed out, if theyre giving up Hill, they must really see something they like in the rookie

  • ripslam

    It was tough, right up until the moment they traded him. Gimme a break.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Spurs are good at drafting..
    Will he start over RJ?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Spurs are good at drafting..
    Will he start over RJ?

  • http://twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Max – um, no.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    I usually trust the Spurs in the draft, but I’m not sure about this one. You trade away a proven NBA player, starter on a lot of teams, for a rookie project?

  • angus

    spurs really know what there doing in these situations so, lets give them the benefit of the doubt i guess, i dont think i wouldv pulled that trade though…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Hursty – In the 2012-2013 season?

  • T-Money

    corey joseph is really their back up point guard? wow. and everyone makes mistakes, even the spurs. they did trade scola for tiago splitter, didn’t they? and they did think that jefferson was actually good, didn’t they?

  • coggie13

    t-money. Jefferson was actually good, thats the thing.

  • marc

    So will collison still start on the pacers?

  • http://slamonline.com truballer

    watch joseph blow everyone away! lol he gets too much hate…….

  • Tyrant56

    I think TP threw george under the bus

  • Rachel

    Hollinger on ESPN wrote that he thought this was a salary cap move. George Hill’s rookie contract ends in a year, and the Spurs probably figured they couldn’t afford to pay two point guards along with Ginobili, Duncan and Jefferson. So they’re getting rid of Hill now and getting something back.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    They picked two players to replace two players. George Hill and Richard Jefferson….Jefferson is either on his way out, or his minutes are.

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    I just dont trust a kid from San Diego State, sorry.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    The most difficult night in Spurs history will be the day Duncan retires.

  • http://nationofmillions.ca ciolkstar

    I agree with Hollinger’s assessment here. This was a cost efficiency move. George was about to get more expensive, instead we have an athletic young wing locked up for the next few years and may have uncovered another foreign gem in Bertans.

    I think the Spurs would’ve moved Tony if they had found a taker. I just wish we would’ve grabbed Isiah Thomas from Washington with that 59th pick, before Sacramento snatched him up at 60. That kid could play 10-15 minutes a night from the jump.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    I may not understand this move right now, but I never, ever question the Spurs.

  • Kid Viscious

    Ha i deff see Indian getting the last laugh on this one.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    joseph is decent, but shouldn’t have been a first round pick and isn’t on hill’s level. richard jefferson sucks. leonard better start practicing that corner jumper.

  • SPURS 7

    I am a season holder this is The biggest mistake
    The Spurs have done

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    The Spurs definitely see something in Corey Joseph. I’m thinking he entered the draft knowing the Spurs were his most likely destination. And, if the pick pays off, it will have been a smart move by the Spurs to keep Joseph on their sights without any potential competition from other teams.

  • Louis

    Hill was good, bad move imo. Hill was the future of that team

  • flip

    i think you dont want george hill as the future of your team! and he wasnt! i like the move

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    “The Spurs think Tony Parker is an NBA starter?” “Emmanuel Ginobili? Who?” “Robert Horry can’t contribute anything anymore!” “George Hill? From where? IUPUI??” “Gary Neal as a key reserve? Wasn’t he undrafted?” Why does everybody question the Spurs’ moves? They know what they’re doing.

  • 6marjons

    co-sign @Caboose
    its sad to see george hill traded away but rc and pop wouldn’t do it if it didn’t have benefit. they didn’t wanna trade bruce bowen and beno udrih but it paid off for them in different ways.

  • Lyger-Shark

    The Spurs usually make the right moves. They always find a guy that fit in their system.

  • http://slamline sayank

    spurs fan always … but where will that championship spark come from that was so missed in playoffs? an unknown? No! IT’LL COME FROM WITHIN THE TEAM THAT WON SO MANY GAMES~ I BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!