People’s hair is on fire in Cleveland, what with the Cavaliers alarming under-performance and nasty new habit of playing their worst in network-televised marquee matchups. There’s not nearly the same level of urgency in Sacramento, where the basketball is demonstrably worse but the mood is tranquil by comparison.
So George Hill remains a King.
The veteran guard was an alleged trade target for the Cavaliers, so motivated (desperate?) to change up their personnel that -- according to The Sacramento Bee's sources -- they had offered reserves Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye and perhaps Derrick Rose for the backcourt help Hill could provide. And yet, no deal.
Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee wrote about the Kings’ perspective in not yet dealing with a trade partner three time zones away on the map and worlds away in ambitions and objectives this season:
The Kings really have no reason to move Hill, unless the deal is favorable. So as the Feb. 8 trade deadline approaches, Hill is still a King.
The Kings are not opposed to making a deal, but it has to make sense as part of the grand plan to maintain financial flexibility for the future, while also being in the position to collect draft picks and young talent.
Some relief from the $19 million owed to Hill next season would be nice, but it’s not as if the Kings would be clearing salary to make a run at LeBron James, Paul George or some other big-name free agent.
This season is about development for the future, remember?
Hill hasn’t caused problems in the locker room, even though he’s coming off the bench. He’s formed great relationships with young players like Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Aaron Fox. And the Kings front office really likes having Hill around.
With days dwindling to a precious few before Thursday’s league trade deadline, the Cavs might feel pressure to sweeten the deal and the Kings might get motivated to figure out how their roster can absorb extra bodies. Or Sacramento could blithely sputter into summer and re-visit Hill’s value.
* * *