Spurs: It Was Tough Trading Away George Hill

by June 24, 2011

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.'”