The Philadelphia 76ers were not able to get their top trade target, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, but they were still able to swindle a veteran point guard in the form of George Hill, who joins Philly from the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a three-team deal that also included the New York Knicks.
The Sixers came away with Hill from the Thunder and youngster Iggy Brazdeikis from the Knicks in the three-way deal.
Oklahoma City walks away from the three-team pact with promising big man Tony Bradley and Philadelphia’s second round picks in 2025 and 2026 as well as streaky shooter Austin Rivers from the Knicks.
The Knickerbockers for their part, gained Terrance Ferguson from the Thunder as well as Vincent Poirier and a 2021 second-round pick from Philly, though Poirier is expected to be waived by the team.
Snagging Hill isn’t quite on the same level as a Lowry acquisition might have been in terms of potential impact, but the addition of a savvy, two-way point guard who can knock down threes is definitely a big positive for the Sixers.
Hill, 34, will bring a ton of versatility to Philly’s backcourt rotation thanks to his ability to play on and off the ball as well as his above average work on both ends of the floor. One would expect that the experienced Hill will eventually become a part of head coach Doc Rivers’ closing group as well.
The 13-year veteran will now be playing for his eighth NBA team, and seventh since he left the Indiana Pacers in 2016. Hill was originally drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2008 draft and was sent to Indiana in 2011 in the trade that netted San Antonio the draft rights to Kawhi Leonard.
The Indianapolis native has averaged 11.1 points per game through his career and he knows how to hit it from downtown after leading the NBA in three-point shooting with an eye-popping 46 percent rate from deep last season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I think we upgraded ourselves a lot today,” Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey remarked on his team’s deadline moves. “And we’re gonna be one of the top few teams to win the title.”
Hill was acquired by OKC this past November via trade, but hasn’t played for a couple of months after undergoing hand surgery in January and didn’t really fit in with the youthful vision that the Thunder are obviously going for.
OKC general manager Sam Presti has made it clear that his team is in rebuilding mode as he has constantly sold off any and all decent veteran talents that he’s come across, building up a warchest of 34 picks over the next seven seasons, 17 in the first round and 17 in the second. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will have some quality teammates to play with soon enough.
The 23-year-old Bradley fits right into Presti’s vision based on his age, though his role with the Thunder based on his abilities remains to be seen. Bradley played his first three seasons with the Utah Jazz before moving to Philly this past offseason and averaging 5.5 points and 5.2 boards per night in 20 games for the Sixers.
The son of Philly head coach Doc Rivers also moved as part of this deal. The younger Rivers was sent from New York, where he was being used sparingly, to Oklahoma City, where his status as a 28-year-old means he’s not likely long for that team either. Rivers was averaging 7.3 points per game in limited minutes for New York this season.