Like most of you, I went through the five stages of grief after hearing Solo Jr.'s name called last night. First, there was denial: "this has to be a trade...there's no way we are keeping this pick." Then came anger: "I can't believe Pritchard and Walsh get paid for this shit. Fire them both. People on this blog can do their job better." That transformed into bargaining: "well if we buy an early second and snag Canaan or Green it will be fine...just like OJ saved us last year..." After that a slight depression set in: "I don't know why I even bother getting excited over young prospects, all we ever do is take 4 year, boring guys with no upside." Finally I accepted the pick for what it was and, in all honesty, mock drafts be damned, it wasn't a bad selection. I'm sure a lot of you aren't to acceptance yet, but if you take a look at what picking Hill means for the rest of the offseason, you might not hate it so much.
From Pritchard's comments, the team views Hill as a back-up SF who can guard multiple positions and play an all-around game. In other words, Hill just replaced Sam Young. While we have depth at the 3 and Hill realistically shouldn't have to play big minutes for us, the players in front of him have serious injury concerns--Granger (knee), Green (brain)--so having a hand picked NBA ready guy as a back-up solidifies the position.
Furthermore, coming into the offseason back-up PG, PF, and scorers were our main priorities. The fact that Hill addresses none of these tells me that we are looking for veteran FAs to fill these roles. This is actually a relief for me. I find it absurd to think that we could give a rookie (especially the ones available at 23!!!) the reigns to our bench right away and expect them put us over the top against Miami. The only way to accomplish the main offseason goal of improving our bench is to get proven players who have experience that will translate in the playoffs.
We have no choice now but to spend some money/make some trades to fill out our bench. Moreover, now that we have another option at SF, if a deal comes along where we can trade Granger for good pieces or the flexibility to sign good pieces, we won't be left thin at the position.
Hill was drafted because he fits what the team needs and can deliver it right away. He's not a big man like Plumlee; defensive wings can transition quickly to the NBA. He was drafted because our FO recognized that we weren't picking anyone at 23 who was making us better than we were last year. He was drafted with with free agency in mind...with a bench overhaul in mind. This offseason was never about the draft.
At the end of the day, despite being as un-sexy as they come, we might have to accept that he is exactly what we needed.