Pacers 2011 Draft Day Grades and Reactions
Just a link dump of what everyone is saying about Indy’s draft day performance:
- Zach Lowe of SI.com has the best piece I’ve seen on the Pacers/Spurs trade of Kawhi Leonard/pick #42/the rights to Erazem Lorbek for George Hill: “the numbers peg Hill more as a shooting guard with nice ball-handling skills than someone ready to run a team full time. Luckily for the Pacers, they have a young point guard ready to run an offense full time in Darren Collison, and they have a major need for consistent scoring on the wing. Hill, an Indianapolis native who starred at IUPUI, can fill the same role with the Pacers that he played in San Antonio. He’ll be an immediate upgrade over shooting guards Dahntay Jones, Brandon Rush and Paul George.”
- Rob Mahoney breaks down the trade for the NBA blog of record: “This trade not only transforms George Hill back into Indiana George, but provides the clean slate necessary for Hill to revisit his basketball roots. With the Pacers, Hill has the opportunity to participate in a more flexible offensive system. He’ll play with and without the ball in his hands, and hopefully be able to tap into that explosive scoring capability on a more regular basis while retaining his defensive aptitude. Indiana has plenty of minutes, shot attempts and opportunities for Hill, but the marriage between player and team will rely on Hill’s own willingness to let go – to bring to mind all of the restrictions he has placed on himself, and knowingly cast them aside. You can take George Hill out of San Antonio, but can this trade take the San Antonio out of George Hill?”
- Tom Lewis of Indy Cornrows thinks Hill is a versatile player the Pacers need: “He’s not a backup point guard or an undersized shooting guard – Hill is a player. Hill can play either guard spots with any of the other guards on the current roster. But more importantly, Hill is a productive, professional player. Put him on the court and he will consistently play hard at both ends, giving the Pacers playing rotation a much needed boost in reliability and leadership.”
- Yahoo’s Kelly Dwyer gives the Pacers a B: “I don’t know what Hill does for a middling team like the Pacers, but he’s a combo guard we know can contribute. No amount of scouting reports and likely potential payoff can make up for someone who is NBA tested. So, solid work, nothing more.”
- ESPN’s Chad Ford gives the Pacers a B+ (ESPN Insider): “[Hill's] versatility, toughness and playoff experience on a veteran roster all help accelerate the Pacers’ rebuilding project. He can step in immediately and give them something they need: a guard who can create his own shot and defend.
- Matt Moore and/or Ben Golliver of CBS give the Pacers a B+: “This was a sneaky good night for the Pacers. I’m high on George Hill’s potential when it’s his show to run, and a sliding Kawhi Leonard — the best player left on the board — was going to be extraneous in Indiana.”
- NBC’s Kurt Helin gives the Pacers a B, but also seems to think they had two first rounders so might not be the best source here.
- Tom Ziller of SB Nation is one of the few guys panning this deal. He gave the Pacers a D under the rationale that I imagine many championship-or-bust/swing-for-the-fences proponents are using today: “The Indiana Pacers were in the fortuitous spot of having a No. 15 in the 2011 NBA Draft in which a number of prized talents slipped out of the lottery. The Pacers struck gold with … George Hill. Did I say gold? I meant, uh, George Hill? They struck George Hill … The Pacers now have Darren Collison, Hill and A.J. Price under contract. Am I missing something? Is Indiana planning on merging Collison and Hill in a grand science experiment?”