The Indiana Pacers are selecting Murray State point guard Cameron Payne on more than a few draft boards, opening up speculation that starter George Hill could be had in the right deal.
Chad Ford went on Zach Lowe's podcast this week and talked about how much the Pacers like Payne and they both thought Hill was eminently moveable. Lowe, who called GSW a "sleeper title contender" in 2014 has pulled back the curtain on how NBA front offices think, both the good and the bad. One of the teams he reports on well is the Pacers, and here's what he said about the possibility of a Payne-in, Hill-out scenario:
"If they pick Payne, again this is a team that can move in any number of different directions, and George Hill is not a great player but he was very, very good when he was healthy last season, he's on a totally tradable contract, and if you are any team that has a ball-dominant wing player that could really run your offense, George Hill is perfect as a point guard who can defend multiple positions. So if they make a selection that puts George Hill in play, just lots of dominoes start to fall."
Sound like anyone you know? According to ESPN's trade machine, Terrence Jones and Kostas Papanikolaou are enough to trade for the two years, $8 million remaining on Hill's deal. That alone is probably not enough to get the starting point guard for back-to-back conference finals teams, but throw in the No. 18 or a future first-round pick and now you're talking.
Hill would be a better overall defender than Patrick Beverley (maybe not 1-on-1, but better in rotations and the passing lanes) and can certainly hit catch-and-shoot three-pointers. This is a tasty option, and one I hope Daryl Morey explores.