George Hill

Central Notes: Hood, Nance Jr., Hill, Muhammad

Rodney Hood and Larry Nance Jr. were inserted into the Cavs’ starting lineup on Monday and coach Tyronn Lue said those changes will remain for awhile, Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Nance is replacing Tristan Thompson, who will be out multiple games with an ankle sprain suffered on Saturday. Hood will replace Cedi Osman, who has started nine games since Kevin Love broke his hand. The new-look lineup will be used at least until Thompson returns, Lue added to Vardon and other media members. “Nance is starting and he’s been our boost off the bench defensively and his energy,” Lue said. “Now we need someone like Cedi to come off the bench and give us that same boost and that same energy defensive-wise.”

In other developments around the Central Division:

  • George Hill said the Cavs are still early in the process of building chemistry with all the roster changes that were made. Hill is one of those players after getting dealt by the Kings right before the trade deadline. “Once teams start scouting and figuring things out, we’ve just got to figure it out ourselves,” he told Vardon in a separate piece. “Where we’re going as a team and what’s going to be our identity? It’s all new schemes for us defensively for four guys coming into a rotation to play with a playoff team like this is totally different. It’s going to take time.”
  • Shabazz Muhammad didn’t play on Sunday after joining the Bucks but he expects to jump into the rotation soon, as he told Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Muhammad signed with Milwaukee after he was bought out by the Timberwolves last week. “I think I’ll probably get some minutes off the bench — that’s why I came here, to help out,” Muhammad told Velazquez.

Cavaliers Notes: Thomas, LeBron, Hill, Leonard

Isaiah Thomas believes the Cavaliers panicked when they sent him to the Lakers as part of a flurry of deals at the trade deadline, according to an ESPN story. Thomas, who was acquired from the Celtics in the offseason, played just 15 games for the Cavs before being sent to L.A.

“It was a tough situation I was being put in,” Thomas said. “It was — it was different. … It’s hard to get acclimated to a team halfway through the season. People don’t put in there that we had eight or nine new players. So it was basically a brand new team. … I’m in a new system. New team, new coach, new players. And then I’ve been off for seven months. So I got to get — individually, I got to for the most part get my rhythm back, get my timing back.”

Thomas, who will be a free agent this summer, said he has no hard feelings about his time in Cleveland and he is concentrating on his future with his new team. He added that he plans to “play my heart out and show the Lakers why I should be here long term.”

There’s more out of Cleveland:

  • LeBron James was revitalized by the trades because he knew he wouldn’t have to share the ball anymore with Thomas or Dwyane Wade, writes Terry Pluto of He adds that James prefers to control as much as he can, both on and off the court, and now has the freedom to initiate the offense any time he wants. Pluto has noticed a difference in James’ play and his on-court demeanor since he found out the trades were coming on the night before the deadline.
  • The addition of George Hill and Larry Nance Jr. has provided the defensive spark the Cavaliers needed, writes Joe Vardon of The Cavs turned in one of their best performances of the season Saturday, holding the Grizzlies to 89 points while registering 13 steals and 35 points off 23 turnovers. “Obviously G. Hill’s hands, Larry’s length and athleticism allows us to kind of keep everything at bay,” James said. “Our league is all pick and roll. So when you’ve got a point guard and a center that can play two on two and the other three can kind of stay at bay, it helps out everybody.”
  • The Cavaliers would be very interested if the Spurs decide to part with star forward Kawhi Leonard, writes Sam Amico of AmicoHoops. Leonard reportedly has a strained relationship with the organization related to his lingering quad injury. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed this week that Leonard has been medically cleared to play, but is choosing to sit out until the pain subsides. Amico speculates that Cleveland would be willing to give up the unprotected pick it owns from Brooklyn as the centerpiece of a deal for Leonard.

Cavs Notes: James, Hill, Communication, Roster

LeBron James will hit free agency after the season and his next move has been – and will be – one of the biggest stories in basketball. Based on past and recent comments, Howard Beck of Bleacher Report examines the possibilities surrounding James’ third stint in free agency.

Most of Beck’s story focuses on James’ motives as he looks for his next NBA contract. With three championships to his credit, it’s possible LeBron will not choose his next solely based on his best chance to win a title. Other factors will be in play, such as James’ desire to play with his close friends — and fellow impending free agents — Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade; lasting long enough to possibly play with or against his son; and establishing a media presence in a larger market. One major factor this summer will also be James’ strained relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, Beck writes.

“Dan Gilbert’s not going to do what it takes to keep him,” one source speculatively said to Beck. “Not a chance in hell he’s going to give him a no-trade clause, or let him dictate contract terms.”

James has publicly said that any reports of his intentions this summer are false unless they come directly from him.

Check out other Cavaliers news below:

  • Veteran George Hill was one of several players the Cavaliers acquired at the trade deadline as the team restructured the roster. Hill is happy to be back with a contending team that is in pursuit of a title, Chris Fedor of writes. “It’s a blessing,” Hill said. “I was in a tough situation. I thanked them for all they did, but I think my time there was done. To get another opportunity, not just to come and play but to possibly play for a championship is something that I’ve had early in my career going against him in Miami with the three-headed monster and the cat spoiling my summer. Now I get a chance to be a part of something special and get an opportunity to go to the Finals.”
  • With a huge chunk of the roster consisting of new talent, the Cavaliers are aware it will take time to integrate the new talent with the current crop, Fedor writes in a separate story.
  • After internal talks between front office personnel about a possible Kyrie Irving trade were relayed to Irving, it sealed his desire to be traded. For the future, the Cavaliers want to tighten up their communication channels to that private talks are not leaked, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes.

Cavaliers Notes: Hill, Hood, Clarkson, Nance

The four players the Cavaliers acquired at the trade deadline understand that they’re now teammates with the NBA’s version of a superhero in LeBron James, writes Joe Vardon of“He’s the Batman and we gotta be all Robins,” George Hill said at practice today.

They’ve all played against James plenty of times before, but none more intensely than Hill, whose Pacers battled the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals in both 2013 and 2014. Rodney Hood attended LeBron’s summer Skills Academy in Las Vegas in 2012 and another of his training camps before then. “He’s the best player of our generation and I’ve been a big fan of his since I went to his camp when I was in high school,” Hood said. “To get a chance to play with him and learn from him I think will be great for me.”

Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. already had the experience of playing with a larger-than-life figure as teammates of Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. They’re both looking forward to being in a similar situation. “That first year with Kob was unbelievable, getting to travel around that locker room, his fan base was insane,” Nance said. “This is going to be a whole ‘nother beast in itself. I’m anxious, I’m excited and I think I’m ready.”

There’s more today from Cleveland:

  • The four new players will make their Cavaliers debut tomorrow in Boston, but Hill will be the only one to start, Vardon relays in a separate story. Coach Tyronn Lue plans to use Hood, Clarkson and Nance in reserve roles and promises they will all see playing time. “I mean, they don’t know the plays yet,” Lue said. “So it’s going to be tough tomorrow with George starting because you can’t really run a lot of stuff. Just run some pick-and-rolls. But just having him on the floor will be good. He’s a veteran so he can understand the flow of the game and then once we get our plays down and defensively what we want to do, then you could see a lineup change.”
  • The Cavaliers took an obvious gamble in the deal that bought Clarkson and Nance from the Lakers, notes Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated. Cleveland helped L.A. clear cap room that may be used to pursue James this summer and sent the Lakers a first-round pick as well. However, Sharp adds that Isaiah Thomas was such a poor fit and a disruptive influence with the Cavs that he had to be sent somewhere.
  • The front office would have been inviting James to leave in free agency this summer if it hadn’t shaken up the team, adds Bud Shaw of It’s hard to say how much the Cavaliers improved their chances of keeping him, Shaw adds, but the franchise is now in better shape for the present and future.

Windhorst/Lowe On Cavs, Clips, Dinwiddie, Hood

The Cavaliers had an eventful trade deadline, trading away six players and taking back four new ones in three Thursday trades. However, it sounds as if the team was somewhat close to making an even bigger splash. Appearing today on Zach Lowe’s Lowe Post podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said that there were people around the NBA who believed on Thursday morning that the Cavs and Clippers were gaining traction on a DeAndre Jordan deal.

“The reason people thought that was because there were other teams that were engaged in trade talks with pieces that would have spun off from that trade,” Windhorst explained. “So it got to the point where the Cavs and Clippers felt like they were close enough to some sort of agreement with each other that they could begin looking to bring in third teams and that’s why I know about it.”

According to Lowe, who says that the Cavaliers were never willing to send the Nets’ 2018 first-rounder to the Clippers in exchange for Jordan, talks between Clevleand and L.A. never got into “the red zone.” Still, Windhorst says that the two teams got at least “some distance down the road” before the Cavs opted to make other deals and the Clippers decided to keep Jordan.

Here’s more from Windhorst and Lowe:

  • The Nets were asking for “a lot” in return for Spencer Dinwiddie, according to Lowe, who says the Cavaliers explored a trade for Dinwiddie that involved Cleveland’s own 2018 first-rounder. Such a deal would have had the added benefit of improving the value of Brooklyn’s first-rounder for the Cavs, the Nets’ asking price was too high for Cleveland.
  • According to Lowe, Avery Bradley‘s asking price for his upcoming free agency is “gargantuan.” Lowe expects the Clippers guard to have to recalibrate his expectations at some point.
  • Lowe doesn’t think Rodney Hood‘s deal in restricted free agency this summer will be exorbitant, speculating that the Cavaliers might be able to lock him up for something in the neighborhood of $10-12MM per year.
  • Windhorst, who said last week that the Cavaliers had explored whether George Hill would be open to a buyout next year if they were to acquire him, clarified some details on that report. Since Hill was believed to be “miserable” with the Kings, per Windhorst, the Cavs looked into whether he’d be willing to reduce the guarantee on his $19MM salary for 2018/19 in order to facilitate a trade. That didn’t end up happening though.
  • Windhorst and Lowe said today there has been a lot of chatter around the NBA about the Grizzlies‘ approach to the deadline. For about 36 to 48 hours, Memphis was giving the teams the impression that they were on the verge of moving Tyreke Evans, presumably in an effort to get clubs to increase their offers, according to Lowe, who says the Grizzlies may have “out-thought themselves.”

Cavs Acquire Rodney Hood, George Hill In Three-Team Trade

7:57pm: The trade is official, according to press releases from the Jazz and Cavaliers. The terms of the deal are as follows:"<strong

1:41pm: ESPN’s Brian Windhorst adds more details on this complex three-team deal, tweeting that the Kings will receive $2.1MM from the Cavs and $1.1MM from the Jazz. Utah will have the option of swapping second-round picks in 2024 with the Cavs. Cleveland also acquired the draft rights to Arturas Gudaitis from the Kings and surrendered the draft rights to Dimitrios Agravanis.

12:03pm: A busy day in Cleveland continues, as the Cavaliers have agreed to acquire Rodney Hood from the Jazz in a three-team trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links). The Cavs will also receive George Hill from Sacramento in the deal, with the Jazz acquiring Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose.

The Kings will get Joe Johnson and Iman Shumpert, per Woj (Twitter link). TNT’s David Aldridge tweets that Sacramento will also acquire a future draft pick and cash considerations, with Sam Amick of USA Today providing some details (via Twitter), reporting that the pick will be Miami’s 2020 second-rounder from Cleveland. The Kings will also get a little over $3MM in cash, Amick adds.

The move, which comes on the heels of the Cavs reaching a deal with the Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., further reshapes a Cleveland roster that will look a whole lot different by the end of the day than it did at the start of it.

By surrendering Crowder, Rose, and Shumpert in exchange for Hood and Hill, the Cavaliers will take on about $4MM in extra salary, and far more than that in projected tax payments. However, the cost of the deal may be worth it for the on-court impact, as Crowder, Rose, and Shumpert have all underperformed and/or battled injuries this season.

Hood will give the Cavs a young, perimeter scorer who has fought through some injuries of his own, but has enjoyed a career year when he’s been on the court. In 39 games, the 25-year-old has averaged 16.8 PPG on .424/.389/.876 shooting. As for Hill, the veteran point guard has struggled mightily in Sacramento this season, but has historically been a good shooter (.454/.384/.800 career shooting line) and a solid defender. His ability to play off the ball should make him a good fit to play alongside LeBron James.

Hood will be a restricted free agent this summer, while Hill remains under contract for two more years beyond this one. He’ll earn $19MM in 2018/19, and has a $18MM salary in 2019/20 that only features a very small partial guarantee.

From Utah’s perspective, the trade will allow them to get out from under Johnson’s $10.5MM salary — the veteran forward was viewed as a buyout candidate if he had remained on the roster through the deadline, and will likely remain a buyout candidate in Sacramento. The Jazz had to give up Hood as part of the deal, but he had been mentioned frequently in trade rumors in recent weeks and no longer appeared to be part of the club’s long-term plans.

In exchange, Utah will acquire Crowder, who has a reputation as a solid three-and-D wing on a team-friendly contract despite his struggles this season, and Rose, who may not be in the team’s plans. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets that the Jazz will likely release Rose.

As for the Kings, they’ll get out from under Hill’s expensive multiyear deal, acquiring Johnson’s expiring contract as well as Shumpert, who has a $10.3MM+ player option for next season. The deal creates nearly $9MM in 2018/19 cap flexibility for the Kings, and also nets them that aforementioned 2020 pick and some cash. Sacramento had committed to playing its young players over its veterans down the stretch this season, so Hill’s playing time had been sporadic.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Deadline Notes: Evans, Hill, Hood, Mavericks

One of the most important deadlines on the NBA calendar is less than 24 hours away, and teams are preparing their best offers as we head for 2:00pm Central. We’ll find out soon if any more franchise-altering moves are in store for this season, but in the meantime here are some Wednesday night trade rumors:

  • The Celtics remain in the running for Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans, but there’s a sense that Memphis is getting better offers elsewhere, according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. A GM from another team tells Bulpett that Boston is waiting to swoop in if talks with those other clubs fall apart. Evans’ value figures to have increased after Lou Williams agreed to an extension with the Clippers today, taking one high-scoring guard off the market.
  • Multiple teams have shown interest in George Hill, but the Kings don’t want to take on bad contracts, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. The Cavaliers have been the team most prominently linked to the veteran guard, but Jones says the Rockets and others have contacted Sacramento about Hill. Houston could match salaries with Ryan Anderson, but he is owed more than $41MM over the next two seasons and the Kings want to avoid cutting into their future cap space. They are seeking young players and draft picks in return for Hill.
  • Teams have also called the Kings about veterans Garrett Temple, Vince Carter and Kosta Koufos, Jones adds in the same story. Both Temple ($8MM) and Koufos ($8.74MM) have player options for next season, while the 41-year-old Carter is on an expiring deal.
  • Jazz swingman Rodney Hood told Shams Charania of The Vertical that he expects to be traded. “I’ve had great times in Utah, but regardless of where I’m playing, whether it’s there or somewhere else, I’m going to stay professional,” Hood said. “I’m going to stick with it. My gut feeling is that I won’t be here by the deadline. I’ve enjoyed my time here, but I’ve felt isolated the past month and I would not be surprised if I was moved.” 
  • The Mavericks are being offered players by teams trying to unload salary, but they aren’t getting enough incentives to make the deals worthwhile, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Sefko lists Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle of the Lakers and J.R. Smith of the Cavaliers as players who would be available if Dallas doesn’t mind committing the cap space.
  • The Knicks may be in the market for more deals after sending Willy Hernangomez to the Hornets, writes Adam Zagoria of Kyle O’Quinn and Courtney Lee are the most likely players to be moved.

Mannix’s Latest: G. Hill, Hornets, Hawks, Suns

The Cavaliers continue to engage the Kings about a possible George Hill trade, sources tell Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports. However, the Cavs would like to include both J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in their package for Hill, and taking on multiple expensive non-expiring contracts doesn’t appeal to Sacramento. Meanwhile, the Kings are quietly looking to get a third team involved in a potential deal, according to Mannix.

Mannix’s latest trade rumor roundup features several more tidbits of interest related to Thursday’s deadline, so we’ll pass along the highlights…

  • The future of GM Rich Cho in Charlotte is uncertain, which may complicate the Hornets‘ deadline plans. According to Mannix, there are rumblings about former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak being a candidate to join the Hornets’ front office in the offseason. Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times wrote last week that Kupchak is considered likely to be hired by an Eastern Conference team this summer.
  • Some teams with interest in Marcus Smart view the Celtics‘ asking price of a first-round pick as “unrealistic,” says Mannix.
  • The Hawks have made “everyone” available, and while much has been written about the club’s veteran trade candidates, second-year swingman Taurean Prince is another player who has drawn interest, according to Mannix.
  • The Magic have shopped Mario Hezonja “hard” in recent days, per Mannix.
  • According to Mannix, the Suns are willing to move veterans like Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley. Neither player’s contract is particularly team-friendly though, so it may be tough for Phoenix to find any value.
  • The Clippers say they’re okay with holding onto DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams through the deadline, but rival clubs are skeptical, says Mannix.

Pacific Rumors: Warriors Needs, Mason, Ball, Hill

The Warriors’ top need is a shooting wing off the bench, and their most likely targets are Marco Belinelli of the Hawks and Tyreke Evans of the Grizzlies, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic opines. Patrick McCaw is the player Golden State will most likely move in order to get a wing who also has size and passing ability, Kawakami continues. Belinelli is on an expiring deal and Atlanta would have to believe in McCaw’s long-term ability enough to also take back Nick Young, Kawakami speculates. Evans would also be a rental and Golden State would probably have to pair McCaw with a first-round pick to get him, Kawakami adds.

In other developments around the Western Conference:

  • Kings point guard Frank Mason will not play until after the All-Star break, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports. The rookie out of Kansas suffered a heel injury on December 31st. Mason, chosen with the 34th overall pick last June, has appeared in 29 games, averaging 7.6 PPG and 2.9 APG.
  • Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball was unable to ramp up his workouts last week without experiencing soreness in his sprained left knee, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register reports. His workouts never progressed to lateral movement or running close to full speed, Oram continues. Ball has missed the last 10 games.
  • The Kings were close to dealing point guard George Hill to the Cavaliers but they won’t mind if he’s still on the roster beyond the trade deadline, Jones writes in a separate piece. Sacramento would have received Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert, and perhaps Derrick Rose, in return. The Kings would have to clear roster space to make that deal but their primary goals must be collecting picks, acquiring young talent and retaining financial flexibility, Jones continues. Hill has also endeared himself to the front office and the team’s young core despite losing his starting job, Jones adds.
  • Trade rumors are weighing heavily on the minds of Clippers players, Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register relays. Coach Doc Rivers admits that trade talk has been a distraction. “Sometimes you go talk to a guy and the guy says, ‘Oh, I’m good,’ and that could mean he’s not good or good,” Rivers told Teaford. “You’ve got to read that. Sometimes it’s clear as day. I can tell you I’ve seen that over the last three or four days from a couple guys, and it’s obviously weighing on them.”

Nuggets Have Serious Interest In Darren Collison

With this season’s trade deadline just a week away, the Nuggets are known to be in the market for a veteran point guard, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. Two sources with knowledge of the situation tell Amick that one guard on Denver’s radar is Darren Collison, who is drawing “serious interest” from the Nuggets.

Collison, 30, has served as the Pacers’ starting point guard this season and has played well, averaging 12.9 PPG and 5.3 APG in 50 games (30.2 MPG). His .497 FG% and .432 3PT% are career highs.

Indiana is currently tied for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, with a 29-23 record, so it’d be surprising if the team moves its starting point guard. Amick’s report indicates the Pacers have rebuffed the Nuggets’ trade efforts so far. Still, the team has a little depth at point guard — Cory Joseph has been solid as Collison’s backup and could slide into the starting lineup. Joe Young‘s role could be expanded if necessary, and Victor Oladipo and Lance Stephenson are capable of handling the ball too.

The Nuggets currently have Jamal Murray starting at point guard, with Will Barton spending some time at the one as well; Emmanuel Mudiay has seen his role reduced this season. According to Amick, Denver would like to be able to return Barton to his “super sixth man” role rather than relying on him for point guard duties.

Amick suggests that Kings point guard George Hill, who drew interest from the Nuggets in the offseason, might be another potential Denver target at the deadline. However, Hill’s $20MM cap hit and his guaranteed money beyond this season would be a deterrent. Collison is on a more team-friendly contract, at $10MM this season — only $2MM of his $10MM salary for 2018/19 is guaranteed.

According to Amick, the Nuggets also hope to find a way to clear a 15-man roster spot for two-way player Torrey Craig at some point.