George Hill

Central Notes: Hill, Turner, Pistons, Nwaba

George Hill has faced many challenges over the course of his NBA career, but the 11-year guard has been tasked with a different mission this month: Getting acclimated with his new teammates in Milwaukee.

The Bucks traded for Hill as part of a three-team deal nine days ago, acquiring a veteran presence and additional player in the team’s backcourt behind Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon. Hill has already earned the respect of several young players in the locker room, including Brogdon — a former Rookie of the Year winner.

“He’s a really, really good vet on and off the floor,” Brogdon said of Hill, according to Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He’s not one of these vets you bring in that’s (just) a great locker-room guy. He’s a guy that’s going to contribute on the floor, lead by example with his voice, really help contribute this year. …

“He knows who he is; he’s a very confident guy, but he also knows what it takes to win. He’s been part of winning teams, winning cultures. We need someone like that in our locker room and he’s going to serve as that.”

Hill made several deep postseason runs with the Pacers before joining the Jazz in 2016. He’s also made stops with the Kings and Cavaliers, and started his NBA career under Hall of Fame coach Gregg Popovich with the Spurs. This month’s deal marked the fourth time Hill was traded in his professional career.

“For me, it’s a blessing no matter what,” Hill said. “People say, ‘Well, you’ve been sent to different places.’ To be sent to different places it means you’re wanted in different places at the same time.”

There’s more from the Central Division today:

  • Pacers center Myles Turner was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Saturday for directing an inappropriate gesture toward the spectator stands. The incident occurred in the second quarter of the team’s win over the Sixers on Friday night.
  • The Pistons‘ new medical team has been noticeably busy since the start of the season, Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes. Ed Stefanski, who was hired to run the team after the franchise parted ways with Stan Van Gundy, decided to go in a different direction with the training staff before the 2018/19 season began. Early injuries to Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard and others have tested the new group for the better, as detailed by Beard.
  • Cavaliers guard David Nwaba is determined to fight through his knee injury, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes. Nwaba missed nine straight games with general soreness, but appeared in the team’s last two contests in limited time. “It’s still pretty sore. Just something I’ve got to fight through,” Nwaba said. “See if it gets better over time.”

Cavaliers Notes: Smith, Dellavedova, Hill, Sexton

The Cavaliers have traded veterans George Hill and Kyle Korver in the past two weeks, and J.R. Smith appears to be the next priority, tweets Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. The Rockets and Pelicans have expressed interest in Smith, according to O’Connor, who notes that both teams need to fortify their wing depth.

Smith hasn’t played since an “amicable” breakup with the Cavs on November 20, and his representatives are working with the team to find a trade. He fell victim to a youth movement in Cleveland and saw his playing time cut to about 20 minutes per night in the 11 games he has gotten into this season.

In addition to his considerable playoff experience, Smith’s contract beyond this season could make him attractive to a contender. He has just a $3.87MM guarantee on his $15.68MM salary for 2019/20, so there is limited long-term risk in acquiring him.

There’s more today out of Cleveland:

  • The Cavaliers who played alongside Matthew Dellavedova during his first stint in Cleveland are thrilled to welcome him back, relays Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Reacquired from the Bucks in the Hill trade, Dellavedova was admired by his teammates for his intensity and competitiveness. “I think of his toughness and his ability to change the pace of the game and his familiarity,” Channing Frye said. “He’s a champion, consummate professional, good for our locker room.”
  • Coach Larry Drew’s decision to put Hill back into the starting lineup when he returned from a shoulder injury may have helped raise his trade value, Fedor suggests in the same piece. Drew has been experimenting with rookie guard Collin Sexton in an off-the-ball role and wanted Hill beside him to run the offense. The move showed the Bucks that Hill was fully healed and able to contribute.
  • Dellavedova will inherit Hill’s role as Sexton’s mentor, Fedor writes in a separate story. Those who remember Dellavedova’s spirited practice sessions with Kyrie Irving expect Sexton to get the same experience. “He will be good for Collin on the days that we do practice, he will be good for Collin because of the way he plays, how scrappy he is,” Tristan Thompson said. “When he gets in, it’s those kinds of plays that he makes, it’s momentum swings and high energy so we will definitely embrace that.”

Bucks Acquire George Hill From Cavs

DECEMBER 8, 9:00am: As part of the deal, the Wizards also removed the protections on the 2020 second-round pick they owe the Bucks, reports Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). In summation, the trade looks like this, as Smith tweets:

  • Bucks receive George Hill, Jason Smith, cash considerations (from Wizards), the Wizards’ 2021 second-round pick (from Cavaliers), and the protections removed on the Wizards’ 2020 second-round pick.
  • Cavaliers receive John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, the Bucks’ 2021 first-round pick (protections detailed below), the Bucks’ 2021 second-round pick, and the Wizards’ 2022 second-round pick.
  • Wizards receive Sam Dekker.

DECEMBER 7, 9:25pm: The trade is official, according to a Cavaliers press release. as relayed by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix.

6:20pm: The Wizards have agreed to make it a three-team deal by acquiring Dekker for big man Jason Smith and a second-round pick, Wojnarowski tweets. The Cavs will swap a 2021 second-rounder with Washington for a 2022 second-rounder, Brian Windhorst of ESPN tweets.

5:05pm: The Bucks have agreed to acquire veteran guard George Hill from the Cavaliers in exchange for guard Matthew Dellavedova, injured center John Henson and first- and second-round picks in 2021, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Cleveland is also sending forward Sam Dekker to Milwaukee, Brian Windhorst of ESPN tweets.

As always, the deal is contingent on the players passing physicals.

The Bucks will save approximately $18MM for the 2019/20 season with this move, which will increase their flexibility to make more moves next summer, Wojnarowski notes in a separate tweet. With Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe both on track to become free agents in July, that extra flexibility could be crucial.

The Cavs are showing a continued willingness to take on salary in order to acquire future assets, Wojnarowski adds.

There was a sense of urgency in getting this deal done on Friday. These players are now eligible to be aggregated on the February 7th trade deadline, Wojnarowski points out in another tweet. Thus, these players can be combined with other contracts in a deadline deal.

While Cleveland is technically acquiring Milwaukee’s 2021 first-rounder in the deal, it’s likely to get pushed back to 2022. That’s because the first-rounder that Milwaukee owes Phoenix next summer almost certainly won’t change hands until 2020, as it’s protected 1-3 and 17-30 for 2019. Since teams can’t trade future first-round picks in back-to-back seasons, the Cavs would have to wait an extra year to get their pick from Milwaukee.

There are protections on the first-round pick going to Cleveland, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN (Twitter link). The first-rounder is protected 1-14 in 2021; 1-10 in 2022; 1-10 and 25-30 in 2023; and 1-8 in 2024. If still not conveyed by then, it converts to two second-rounders in 2025.

Hill is making $19MM this season but his $18MM salary for next season doesn’t become fully guaranteed until July 1. Only $1MM is guaranteed, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Milwaukee will almost assuredly cut him loose before then, eating his $1MM partial guarantee. However, Hill can be a contributor this season on a playoff contender.

He joins a guard rotation that includes Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell. The addition of Hill would seemingly reduce Donte DiVincenzo‘s minutes.

Henson is making $11.3MM this season and has a $10.5MM guarantee for next season in the final year of his deal. He recently underwent wrist surgery and could miss the rest of the season.

Dellavedova, who will begin his second stint in Cleveland, is making $9.6MM this season and the same amount next season.

Dekker is making $2.76MM and Milwaukee would have to extend a $3.9MM qualifying offer after the season to make him a restricted free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cavaliers Notes: Korver, Burks, Hill, Sexton

The Cavaliersdecision to trade Kyle Korver to the Jazz on Wednesday was made because the team wanted to move him while he was still healthy and productive, according to Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. Korver has a history of foot issues, most recently causing him to miss two games last month. Korver has been on the market for a while and the Cavs didn’t want to take the chance of another injury derailing a deal.

Cleveland had been hoping to get a first-round pick in exchange for the 37-year-old sharpshooter, Pluto adds, and although several teams were interested in acquiring Korver, no one was willing to part with a first-rounder. Several Cavaliers teammates were upset to lose Korver, who had a 22-point game on Monday.

There’s more news today out of Cleveland:

  • Alec Burks, whom the Cavs acquired in the Korver deal, is thrilled about the chance for more playing time, relays Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Burks already has a connection to Rodney Hood and George Hill, his former teammates in Utah, and to coach Larry Drew, who played against Burks’ father. “Opportunity is everything in this league,” Burks said. “I feel like I have a great one here. Just trying to take advantage of it and help my new team win.” However, Fedor points out that Burks’ stay in Cleveland might be brief. He has an $11.5MM expiring contract that could make him attractive to a contender before the February 7 trade deadline.
  • Hill is returning to action tonight after missing more than three weeks with a sprained shoulder, tweets Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Drew confirmed that Hill is ready to go, adding that rookie Collin Sexton will remain in the starting lineup as the shooting guard.
  • The Cavaliers made a couple of housekeeping moves this week, according to the Real GM transactions page, renouncing their free-agent exception rights to Shawn Marion and James Jones. Marion retired in 2015, while Jones called it quits in 2017 and serves as interim GM of the Suns.

Cavaliers Willing To Accept Long-Term Salary In Trades

As the Cavaliers look to unload some of their expensive veterans, they have informed teams that they will take on long-term salary in exchange for other assets, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

With LeBron James gone and the playoffs seemingly out of reach, Cleveland has no interest in holding onto large contracts that will keep the organization near the luxury tax. The Cavs have already informally parted ways with J.R. Smith as they search for a taker for his $14.72MM salary, and several other players could be moved before the February 7 trade deadline.

Kyle Korver, who remains a dangerous 3-point shooter at age 37, should attract the most attention, according to Windhorst. Korver is shooting 46% from beyond the arc and is averaging 6.8 PPG. He is making $7.56MM with a $7.5MM salary for next season that won’t be guaranteed until July.

George Hill, who makes $19MM this season but only has a $1MM guarantee on his $18MM salary for 2019/20, will also be in demand, Windhorst adds. Hill is sidelined with a shoulder injury, but put up good numbers before being hurt. Channing Frye, who makes a modest $1.5MM but has only appeared in three games, is another candidate to go.

Windhorst notes that owner Dan Gilbert conducted a similar selloff when James left the team in 2010. The assets he collected in that process enabled him to bring in Kevin Love and some other valuable pieces when James returned four years later.

Central Rumors: Henson, Lopez, Sexton, Kennard

John Henson‘s wrist injury will cost him more than just a chunk of the season, as Bobby Marks of ESPN explains. The Bucks center will lose $750K in bonus money due to clauses in his contract. He was due $250K for appearing in 60 games and an additional $500K for 75 games. Henson, who is signed through next season, is expected to miss at least 12 weeks due to a torn left wrist ligament. Henson’s cap hit for the 2019/20 campaign will be reduced to $9.7MM after the season once the bonuses are deemed unlikely. That will give Milwaukee a little more financial flexibility next summer.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Bulls center Robin Lopez has seen his playing time increase in recent games and the team may be showcasing him and his expiring contract, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Lopez is making $14.3MM and the team could acquire an asset and move him to a contender, where he could add toughness off the bench without a long-term commitment, Cowley notes. Lopez is downplaying the possibility of getting traded. ‘‘I’ve always found that I kind of play best when I go out there and play unencumbered or unhampered by things like that,’’ he said.
  • Collin Sexton may have taken over the Cavaliers’ starting point guard spot from George Hill, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Cleveland’s lottery selection is averaging 18.0 PPG and shooting 48.4% since Hill injured his shoulder earlier this month. “There are just guys who feel more comfortable starting than coming off the bench,” head coach Larry Drew told Fedor and other media members. “I think everybody wants to start, but everybody’s production as a starter is not very good. … Certainly with G-Hill out, Collin has definitely stepped up to the plate and made his presence felt and has made a major impact to what we’ve been doing.”
  • Pistons shooting guard Luke Kennard will be out a few more weeks, according to the team’s latest medical update. Kennard suffered a right shoulder AC joint sprain on October 25th. Kennard’s rehabilitation process will continue for an additional two weeks with a gradual intensification towards basketball activity. That suggests Kennard, a second-year guard, won’t be back until sometime next month.

Central Notes: Turner, Hill, Bucks, Sabonis

Pacers center Myles Turner has struggled since signing his contract extension with the team, averaging 11.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in 12 starts this season. He faced criticism after Wednesday’s game against Joel Embiid and the Sixers, only to have a teammate immediately jump to his defense.

“I think he shouldn’t concern himself with what people are saying or thinking,” Victor Oladipo said of Turner, according to Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star. “He’s just got to play within himself. He’ll figure it out. He’s still young. I’m not making no more excuses for him, but the truth of the matter is he’s just got to find it within himself.

“He’s perfectly fine,” Oladipo continued. “He’s going to find his groove, and then everybody’s going to be like, ‘Whoa, he’s playing great. So what do you think about him playing great?’

“Everybody’s so quick to judge someone when they don’t play well. But everybody’s not in here. Nobody is in his shoes. Nobody’s putting on the jersey he’s putting on. Nobody’s out there playing the game he’s playing. So you can’t really judge him. We have no right to. But people are going to anyway. Me, personally, I really don’t care what people think about him. I love him to death. His upside is huge, and he’s just going to continue to keep getting better. And when he figures it out, watch out.”

Turner is well-liked in the Pacers organization and is in his fourth season with the team. Despite struggling to effectively rebound, he remains an intriguing two-way player with plenty of room to grow in his NBA career.

Here are some other notes from the Northwest:

  • Cavaliers guard George Hill will miss approximately one to two weeks with a shoulder sprain, the team confirmed. Hill was evaluated at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health on Thursday, where he underwent an MRI that revealed the sprain. He will now undergo a period of treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Stephen Curry believes this season’s Bucks are similar to the Warriors in their first season without Mark Jackson. “They’re very similar to four years ago here,” Curry said, according to Mark Medina of the The Mercury News (Twitter link). “A change of scenery sometimes helps. You get a little boost of energy, a little shift in focus and perspective. And that little bit (of a) difference can unlock something. It’s still early. They’re taking care of business like they should. It’s important when you have that much potential to get off to a good start.”
  • Domantas Sabonis‘ solid play could shift the Pacers‘ rotation this season, Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star contends. Sabonis could work his way into the starting center position, which would force Myles Turner to either play off the bench or share the frontcourt with him.

Western Notes: Deng, Hill, Mavs, Capela

The Lakers and Luol Deng agreed to a buyout earlier this week, which will allow Los Angeles the ability to offer a top free agent a max contract next offseason. Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that the final figure on what Deng agreed to give up in the agreement came out to $7.3MM, slightly less than what was previously reported.

The Lakers are projected to have approximately $38MM in cap space next offseason, enough to be a major player in the market. While we wait to see if the team makes any other moves, let’s check out some notes from their rivals in the Western Conference:

  • The Suns are not interested in George Hill, Ashish Mathur of Amico Hoops reports. Phoenix traded away Brandon Knight over the weekend and has made inquiries on a few veteran options.
  • The Mavericks lost Doug McDermott in free agency, but Ryan Broekhoff, who signed a multiyear, minimum-salary deal with Dallas, may be a suitable replacement for the former first-round pick, Eddie Sefko of Sports Day writes. The Mavericks need all the shooters they can get, Sefko adds, so Broekhoff may find himself getting some playing time as the season goes along.
  • The Rockets and Clint Capela took some time to arrive at their five-year, $80MM+ deal but many of the team’s prominent members never doubted that the big man would return, as they tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic.  “Oh, we’re not worried about stuff like that,” head coach Mike D’Antoni said of Capela possible slipping away. When James Harden was asked if he was concerned about Capela leaving, he replied “Nah.”

Western Rumors: Rozier, Williams, Durant, Rockets

The Celtics’ Terry Rozier and the Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie are two of the logical trade targets for the Suns in their search for a point guard, according to Frank Urbina of HoopsHype. Rozier is a solid two-way player coming off a career year but the Suns would likely have to offer a package that included an unprotected first-rounder to catch Boston’s attention. A trade for Dinwiddie would be more plausible and he’d be a good fit with Phoenix considering his size, perimeter shooting and pick-and-roll prowess, Urbina continues. The Clippers’ Patrick Beverley, the Cavaliers’ George Hill and the Hornets’ Kemba Walker are some of the other names Urbina throws out as potential targets. The Suns are searching for a starting point guard after trading away Brandon Knight to the Rockets last week.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans signed Troy Williams, Kenrich Williams and Garlon Green to partially-guaranteed contracts in the hope of finding one reliable small forward, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate notes. That trio will compete for a roster spot, though the potential addition of swingman Tyrone Wallacesigned to an offer sheet on Monday — could change that. “They just told me they’re bringing some guys in and having them go head-on to see who wins a spot,” Kenrich Williams told Kushner.
  • By buying out Luol Deng‘s contract and using the stretch provision, the Lakers gave themselves a chance to offer Kevin Durant a max salary in free agency, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders examines. The Lakers now project to have $38.2MM in cap space, which would be just enough to afford Durant, Pincus continues. If they can’t land Durant, they’ll certainly have enough to bring in another All-Star level talent. Other high-level potential free agents, including Kawhi Leonard, Klay ThompsonDeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, Walker and Kyrie Irving, could command a first-year salary of $33MM, leaving the Lakers with another $5MM to spend in other ways, Pincus adds.
  • The Rockets took a frugal approach this summer and it could cost them a title, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post opines. They traded away Ryan Anderson and allowed two key wing players to walk in free agency. In turn, they signed three players on veteran’s minimum deals and adding a couple of bench players in the Anderson trade, Bontemps notes. So while Houston execs had said they were unconcerned about the luxury tax, their actions showed they wanted to save some money, Bontemps adds.

Cavs’ Kyle Korver On Trade Block?

The Cavaliers are looking to move Kyle Korver, Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com writes in his latest round-up of Cavs-related notes and rumors. Ashish Mathur of AmicoHoops.net recently reported that Cleveland was exploring the possibility of trading both Korver and point guard George Hill.

While the Cavs have repeatedly insisted that they have no interest in moving Kevin Love, Korver might make more sense as a potential trade chip. His mid-level salary ($7.56MM) would be easier for a potential suitor to absorb, and there’s no shortage of teams around the NBA that wouldn’t mind adding a shooter of his caliber.

Dealing Korver could also clear a path for the Cavs to lock up Rodney Hood to a new multiyear deal without risking going back into luxury-tax territory. The team currently has about $106.4MM in guaranteed money on its books for 10 players. If Hood were re-signed on a salary of about $10-12MM, it would significantly limit the Cavs’ options as they try to fill out the rest of their roster without crossing the tax threshold.

While Pluto doesn’t provide any specifics on what the Cavs might be looking for in exchange for Korver, Mathur suggests the team would like to acquire draft picks. Cleveland has traded its second-round selections for the next two years, and its 2019 first-rounder will head to Atlanta if it doesn’t land in the top 10, so it makes sense that the Cavs would be looking to restock their supply of picks.

Korver, 37, was his usual effective self from three-point range in 2017/18, averaging 9.2 PPG with a .436 3PT%. The veteran marksman is a career 43.1% shooter from beyond the arc and has averaged 2.5 threes per game over his last six seasons.

Korver is under contract for one more year beyond 2018/19, but his 2019/20 salary ($7.5MM) is only partially guaranteed for $3.44MM.