A Look into George Hill’s Potential New Role with The Philadelphia 76ers

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 24: Oklahoma City Thunder Guard George Hill (3) breaks past Los Angeles Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during an NBA game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder and the on January 24, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Carrie Giordano/Icon Sportswire)

What does George Hill bring to the Philadelphia 76ers? Was the team right to only make one move at the NBA trade deadline.

The NBA trade deadline may not have been the frenzy of deals that many hoped for, but Daryl Morey was still able to impact the Sixers’ roster in a positive way. Morey elected to make just one trade and added George Hill to the current first-place roster.

While the rumors connecting the Sixers and Kyle Lowry dominating the timeline all day, Daryl Morey ultimately decided to walk away from the Toronto front office’s extreme asking price. Without giving up any starter or a key part of the Sixers’ young core, Morey managed to secure a guard who can add a similar skillset to fill the back-up point guard role.

The Trade

Tony Bradley exceeded all expectations in his recent stretch, where he filled in as the starting center for Joel Embiid. Bradley’s recent performance of 18 points and 11 rebounds was especially impressive. At 23 years old, he shows signs of growing into a solid player. However, with Embiid set to return soon and Dwight Howard showing an uptick in production, it was worth flipping the UNC product for another ball-handler. Neither Ferguson nor Poirier have played more than 50 minutes on the year and had no long-term future with the team.

Who is George Hill?

George Hill is a 34-year-old point guard who has been around the NBA for 12 years, with 11 years of playoff experience. He has played for seven different teams throughout his career and has now been traded twice in the past four months.

Hill is best known for his time with the Indiana Pacers, where he averaged 12.3 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game in 5 seasons with the team. This Pacers team went head-to-head with the LeBron-led Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals during this stretch, and Hill played a valuable role on this team. The 6-4 guard also scored a career-high 16.9 points per game along with 40.3% shooting from beyond the arc in a season with the Utah Jazz.

One interesting tie that George Hill has is with Sixers’ current shooting guard, Danny Green. Each player began their respective career with the San Antonio Spurs and played together during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. The two remain in contact, and Green even spoke about working out with George Hill this summer.

Green talked about how he discussed with Hill about the possibility of him coming to Philly at this time. Danny Green claimed he told Hill that, “We’ll take you, you know, make it happen. So if I need to make a call, I’ll tell them to come bring you over.” This wish came true, and the duo will be back in action for the first time in eight years.

When asked to talk more about what George Hill will bring to the team, Green put it that Hill is “a hell of a player (and) even better person. Can shoot the ball, need another point guard, another guy that can run the team (and) play his role well.” This addition to leadership is key as it is tough to find anyone around the league who will speak a bad word about Hill.

What He Brings to the Philadelphia 76ers

As far as the on-court benefits to the addition of Hill, he fills a needed hole that the team previously had. With Maxey not yet ready to shoulder major minutes, George Hill will immediately step into the backup point guard role.

This will allow Shake Milton to shift into an off-ball role to where he can focus on his more natural ability as a scorer. Even serving as the primary initiator for most of his time on the court, Shake averages just 3.1 assists per game and looks more comfortable creating shots for himself rather than for others.

Hill is a willing and capable ball-handler and will help put a stop to the frustration when guys like Dwight HowardFurkan Korkmaz, and even Danny Green decide to dribble the ball. Adding a primary distributor could help this second unit produce on a more consistent basis, which would greatly help the team.

Hill also could fill in amongst the starters and provide a boost in the half-court offense. While he is not quite as extreme of a floor-spacer as Seth Curry or Danny Green, Hill is a capable shooter with a career 38.4% from beyond the arc. He also has shot over 40% from three on catch-and-shoot opportunities in 7 of the last 8 seasons.

George Hill ranked first amongst all combo guards last season with 132 points per 100 possessions. Seth Curry (130.3) and Shake Milton (124.7) ranked second and third in this category as well.

While it may not be the home run move that many hoped for, the Philadelphia 76ers are a better overall team due to the addition of George Hill. It is a low-risk move with high potential to help the team and is another guy with playoff pedigree to add to the Sixers youthful roster.

His Sixers debut is still yet to be clear from a thumb injury that he sustained in late January. Hill had surgery on the injury and is expected to join the Philadelphia 76ers within the next week or so.