The motives behind the trade that sent shock waves through the San Antonio Spurs community is being questioned by at least one media member.
In his Sunday column, Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News wonders if George Hill was traded for purely financial reasons.
Lawrence questions if Hill was only traded because the Spurs didn’t want to pay him more than his rookie contract after this coming season. Lawrence adds that once Tony Parker backed off his previous statements he made to the French media, the franchise deemed Hill expendable. Lawrence even questioned whether Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford was being truthful when he said trading Hill was one of the hardest days in franchise history.
“You would have thought that they had moved Duncan in his prime. General manager R.C. Buford called it “one of the most difficult nights in Spurs history since we’ve been here.” In fact, it wasn’t. As much as they liked Hill’s work ethic, they had no intention of meeting his salary demands.”
It should also be noted that Lawrence didn’t given any kind of source whatsoever behind his idea that Hill was only a cap casualty. How much the Spurs were actively shopping Parker we may never know, but the fact remains, several media outlets reported both Parker and Hill were available for the right price.
Lawrence appears to make it very cut-and-dry that Hill was someone the Spurs didn’t have in their future plans. Though Lawrence did state Kawhi Leonard is the type of player the Spurs need, he chose to ignore Leonard’s favorable qualities and was quick to reiterate Leonard’s less-than-stellar shooting touch. Lawrence also ignored the other two pieces the Spurs got in exchange for Hill.
Davis Bertans was someone rumored to be in the mix for the Spurs at No. 29 and Erazem Lorbek looks like he can play at the NBA level. If you haven’t already, Youtube him. It’s also important to note Buford said on draft night the Spurs may not be done trading, so it’s not a certainty Parker or any other Spur will be in a Spurs uniform come next season. If there is a next season.
Spurs fans, what do you think of Lawrence’s statements? Was Hill merely a salary cap casualty or was the value for trading him just higher than what any Parker/Richard Jefferson trade would’ve netted?