George Hill: Buy Low or Cut Bait?
By Rocco Minsk The Sacramento Kings have gotten off to a slow start this season notwithstanding their outstanding young core which includes De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere. Many thought the Kings would be much improved this season as they brought in Zach Randolph and George Hill to go along with their young core. However, the Kings have gotten off to a slow start and have lost some very winnable games, including one last night to a Anthony Davis-less Pelicans roster.
After a faster start to the season, George Hill has put in some stinkers averaging four points over his last three games. This has disappointed his owners after his 16.9 PPG last year on a Utah Jazz team with a slower system. Many thought his presence on a team would provide a stabilizing veteran influence to a young team, but to date it has not happened.
The question is what to do with George Hill after this slow start to the season; does an owner try to buy low, stand pat or cut bait? The answer to this question is certainly not the first option. After trading Demarcus Cousins last season, the Kings adopted their umpteenth approach to trying to return to the Western Conference playoffs and ended up with three first round draft picks.
It is the first of those draft picks that is the reason why George Hill is not a good pickup at the point. De’Aaron Fox is proving to be one of the top rookies in the league so far and the Kings need him on the court, both to gain experience as well as because he presents the best option. Buddy Hield will dominate the minutes at the two so the Kings likely face an either or choice with Fox and Hill and Fox has played very little with Hield as well. In a small sample size, Fox’s game falls off markedly when paired with Hill. Without Hill on the court, Fox shoots 46.9% and with Hill on the court, his FG% falls to 33.3%. Fox is going to get his minutes and they have and will come at Hill’s expense. While it is a small sample size, Fox is better running the point and is not as effective when sliding over to the 2.
I certainly would not expend any effort to acquire George Hill. Hill was brought in to push the team to the periphery of the playoff race and once it is apparent that the Kings cannot compete at that level, they have every reason in the world to give their young players the minutes especially with another deep draft class in the offing for next season. I suppose in a deep league, keeping a wait and see approach may benefit you given Hill’s very recent track record, but it is very apparent that Fox will soon be the guy in Sacramento so in shallow leagues George Hill can be dropped.