The San Antonio Spurs traded fan favorite George Hill to the Indiana Pacers during the 2011 NBA Draft for rookie Kawhi Leonard, a move that had Spurs fans scratching their heads and asking why trade a proven asset for an unproven rookie.
Fast forward to today and it would seem the trade as worked great for San Antonio and Indiana.
Both Leonard and Hill are helping their team in the playoffs (both Spurs and Pacers are in the Western and Eastern Conference Semi-Finals respectively) and have been key to their team’s overall success this season.
But could the Spurs, who need a back up point guard (no offense to rookie Cory Joseph), be interested in bringing back Hill?
Hill recently turned down a contract extension with Indiana and will be a restricted free agent this summer and according to the New York Daily News, San Antonio wants him to return to the team.
Pacers PG George Hill is helping his value. He turned down a $6 million-per-year extension before the season and now might get more this summer as a restricted free agent. The Spurs and Tim Duncan, especially, want him to return to San Antonio, but San Antonio might not be able to afford him.
As the report states, it would be difficult to bring back Hill financially. Duncan, Boris Diaw, Gary Neal, James Anderson, and Danny Green will be free agents this summer. Not to mention the Spurs hold the team option (at $1,054,000) for DeJuan Blair next season and will have to decide whether to bring him back. Also, Patty Mills has a player option after this summer (at $1,000,000).
Moreover, the Pacers might be willing to match any offer the Spurs or other teams make for Hill thus driving up the cost to a point San Antonio wouldn’t be able to match.
However, it’s not like the Spurs have succeeded in bringing back players after a trade. Sean Elliott spent the 1993-1994 season with the Detroit Pistons in a trade for Dennis Rodman. The next season, the Spurs traded back for Elliott.
But with the financial situation the Spurs are under and with Hill looking for a lucrative long-term contract, it would seem Hill’s chances of coming back to the Alamo City are slim. So much for the revival of Hill and Blair’s video series “Big n’ Smallz.”