I've always been an unapologetic fan of Jason Terry, initially because he's from Seattle but mostly because his teams always seem to win more than they lose and he's always in the mix when they win. Terry has never been a prototypical point guard or shooting guard, but instead a productive player who now has won a title in high school, college and the NBA.
This is the type of player the Indiana Pacers added last night when they sent their first and second round picks (along with the rights to Erazem Lorbek) to the San Antonio for Indy native George Hill. He's not a backup point guard or an undersized shooting guard - Hill is a player.
Hill can play either guard spots with any of the other guards on the current roster. But more importantly, Hill is a productive, professional player. Put him on the court and he will consistently play hard at both ends, giving the Pacers playing rotation a much needed boost in reliability and leadership. This comment from Spurs' GM, R.C. Buford sums up nicely what Hill brings to the Pacers in addition to his attack-mode game on the court.
You know, I think I'd first like to say that tonight might have been one of the more difficult nights in Spurs history since we've been here. To move a player like George Hill whose meant so much to our team, to our culture, to our locker room, was one of the most difficult decisions we've made.
Hill has been groomed in how to go about his NBA business by pro's pros in Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, not to mention coach Gregg Popovich. Now he can share those lessons with the other young players in the Pacers locker room including Darren Collison and Lance Stephenson.
But more importantly, this move gives Hill a chance to apply those lessons on the court in a larger role with the Pacers. Whether he ultimately starts or leads the Pacers off the bench doesn't matter. Either way he will have a chance to impact the game and be a guy the Pacers look to at winning time to make plays and help turn some of those excruciating close losses of the recent past into wins.
The Pacers are far from done, still needing to address holes in the front court, but since they used Troy Murphy's trade exception for this deal, they preserved all of their cap space while filling an immediate need for back court scoring and improved on-ball defense. And with George Hill, those needs are filled immediately.