As Monty Python teaches us, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"
That hasn't necessarily been my motto throughout my 28 years on this planet, I'm afraid to say, but now I think it's time to look past what I view as a disappointing draft day, and move forward.
I'd estimate that this community is split about 60/40 in favor of George Hill, though I'd have to look at a poll to really know, and frankly I don't care that much. I'm in the 40% "against" column, not because I dislike Hill, or think he won't immediately make us better, but because I
A. Thought we could get more for Kawhi Leonard...it seemed like a panic move after all of Bird's preferred prospects got drafted out from under him
B. Thought if we couldn't have gotten more for Kawhi Leonard we could have just used him as a bench/energy guy who could have eventually replaced Danny Granger for cheap
C. Thought we could have gotten at least someone at the #42, whether they would have sucked, never played here, or never made a roster...it seemed like we were taken advantage of, and adding that #42 was like adding insult to injury...as if Poppovich and company were laughing when Bird called, with guys in the background saying "Hey, see what else he'll throw in!"
D. Believe, deep down, that this team would be better-served rebuilding and blowing up
But all that aside, it is what it is. George Hill is a one-year commitment, a great teammate, a playoff-proven competitor and much needed boost to our suspect bench guard depth. If the other option back in February was trading #15 for O.J. Mayo, I can say with confidence that I like this deal more than that one. Hill is cheaper, more reliable, less likely to blow up and refuse to re-sign with us, less likely to become a toxic lockerroom cancer and of course local.
So if Bird truly thinks he can make a few moves to get better as soon as this year, what are they? What's out there? If we learned anything about this draft, and the trade deadline, it's that teams will sell-low on good players for the chance at saving money and/or acquiring picks. Unfortunately there's no new CBA yet, and we may be waiting quite a while for anything to get done. But that may be a good thing. When teams can finally sign free agents and take on contracts in trades, it may be too late for them to field too many competitive offers. If Bird is quick and savvy (admittedly not words I'd normally use to describe him, but I digress...) he can score some good deals, right?
What are they?
Here's a few...
Common theme is Posey, but that's just because he's expiring. That, and we have very little else to offer, considering most of our core (DC, PG, DG, TH, RH and now Hill) seems important to Bird for the whole "future is now" concept, or like Lance Stephenson, simply worthless on the open market.
Heading into the new CBA we can take a gamble and bring back a bad contract or two if it immediately improves the team. Will Bird do it? I don't think he'll use all the cap space, but there are some guys out there he could target. Any ideas?