Three days ago, it was a foregone conclusion that George Hill was about to be traded from the Sacramento Kings to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The structure of the deal existed, and (depending on who you listened to) it could even include the Kings guilelessly dumping Skal Labissiere to create roster room so they could then buy out Channing Frye. Alternatively, the Kings would also take back Derrick Rose for reasons that remain unclear.
Yesterday the deal hadn’t happened which obviously meant THE TRADE IS FALLING APART. The Kings and Cavs can’t agree, and the teams were only discussing the trades “conceptually” according to a report from cleveland.com. If you read that report, you’ll also learn Hill has been struggling with a toe injury from last season, which is news to anyone who has watched the Kings play this season. Based on injury reports, it would also be news to the Kings medical staff (Youngman!).
The point of all of us this is a simple reminder. Between now and the trade deadline on February 8th we are going to be fed a lot of bullshit. Rumors will swirl, and they usually won’t be accurate. Deals can be born and die a dozen times in the news cycle before they actually happen.
When looking at reports, consider the source. Cleveland.com may be a fine outlet, but I’ve never seen them break Kings news. Brian Windhorst is very tied into the Cavs organization, but he doesn’t know how to pronounce Skal Labissiere, so I doubt he’s hearing things from the Sacramento side of the trade.
This isn’t to say Windhorst is even wrong, just that it’s important to take a deep breath and evaluate the likely truth of what’s being reported. Trades are hard to evaluate even after they’ve been finalized, trying to grade a trade based on a rumor is probably not the best use of anyone’s time.