In the ongoing drama and posturing that is the NBA trade season, we have a new twist in the saga of the Sacramento Kings attempting to trade George Hill to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The question of Sacramento’s compensation remains, as no rumors have yet addressed why the Kings would give up Hill for cap space and a pick in the 50s. However, we do have another detail on what could be holding back the Cavs from committing to the deal.
Via Cavs Nation:
Speaking on ESPN Radio about the subject of Hill’s potential trade to Cleveland, Ryan Hollins said that Cleveland was trying to coax Hill into agreeing to a preliminary buyout next season should LeBron James decides to walk away from the team in the summer. Hill, however, declined to be part of the plan, putting the trade talks off the table for now.
This is an interesting bit of information. It makes sense from the Cavs organization. They’re trying to walk a tightrope of contending this season without jeopardizing a rebuild if LeBron James leaves this summer. What’s funny is that the Cavs thought they could get Hill to agree to this. I’m sure George isn’t eager to be stuck in another rebuilding situation, but I’m sure he’s less eager to re-enter a free agency market that left him choosing between the Kings and the Lakers. There’s no incentive for Hill to give up his guaranteed money so soon after experiencing just how harsh and uncertain the free agency market can be.
On the other hand, this could be another round of public negotiation. In addition to a new narrative around George Hill being bad at defense, despite Hill having been a solid two-way players his entire career, we now have this public discussion of why Hill isn’t a great deal for the Cavs. Seems a little suspect, but it’s difficult to say.
And for those who may be wondering, these negotiations could happen directly between the Cavs and Hill if the Kings gave permission, but it’s more likely the Cavs are speaking with Hill’s agent. Perfectly legal and a common part of trade negotiations.