George Hill is not a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers…yet.
Because the Sacramento Kings and the Cavaliers themselves have backed away from reported trade talks…for now.
There’s a chance this deal might not get gone…in theory.
Excuse the opaque-speak, but that’s the status quo on this mini-buster as we know it. After seemingly getting on the verge of striking an agreement, the Hill-to-Cleveland talk has simply petered out, ceding status to other hypotheticals and, of course, the Blake Griffin trade.
But as ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst outlined during a Monday appearance on The HoopsHype Podcast with Alex Kennedy, the framework of this deal has not been tabled for good. Talks have simply stalled for a number of reasons:
“Well, obviously it hasn’t gotten done, they haven’t been able to finalize it. It is still sitting there on the table, but the teams have backed away from it. Why? Well, there a few different reasons for that. There’s a draft compensation issue. There’s the George Hill health issue. He missed three of four games [recently]. And I know they aren’t playing their veterans, but he had the toe issue pop up earlier this month and he’s been battling this toe issue for two years now. He’s missed six of his last  games – some because of the toe and some because he’s been a healthy scratch. I do think there was some concern within the Cavs organization about that. … Also, another factor is the Cavs’ lineup change. They hadn’t been using Channing Frye at all and so I think the GM, Koby Altman, was like, ‘Well if you aren’t going to use him, I’m going to trade him.’ Then they made a lineup change and now Channing Frye is back in the rotation. Had they done this deal the way it was initially structured, they would’ve been a big man short, which would have necessitated them to make a secondary deal. From what I understand, it’s still there and can be done, but for various reasons the teams have stepped back. The reason I was so [adamant] that it was going to happen is because they talked to the players about it. When it’s the actual team [executives] going to the players and saying, ‘This is going to happen,’ typically that means it’s going to happen.”
Go ahead and file this deal under the “It’s going to happen section.”
Maybe it isn’t hammered out until just before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, after both the Cavaliers and Kings have done their due diligence elsewhere. But if the Cavaliers’ front office has already started leaking out the details and likelihood to the players, you better believe negotiations are in the 11th hour—even if they’ve hit the faux-pause button for now.
Welcome to Cleveland, eventually, George Hill.