The Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings were very close to completing a deal that would make George Hill a member of the Cavs. That trade appears to be dead now, and died without much clarification. But now we are finally hearing why that deal did not take place.
In a discussion with Ryan Hollins (side-note... RYAN HOLLINS?), ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explained part of why the trade for George Hill fell apart:
George Hill, they didn’t want to buy him out this year. What they wanted to do was protect themselves in the event that, if LeBron James left, whether George Hill would be willing to take a buyout on the $20 million he’s owed on his contract after this season.
Transcribed by NBC Sports
Windhorst also explained that Tristan Thompson returning to the starting lineup opened up minutes for Channing Frye, which created a reluctance to include him in the deal.
It’s understandable that Hill wouldn’t want to reduce the amount of guaranteed money on his deal and agree to a buyout should LeBron leave. But it is unfortunate that this deal didn’t work out, given how close both sides were to completing it and how helpful Hill could be to this roster.
If there is a silver lining, it’s that the Cavs are finally using both Thompson and Frye in their proper roles. Thompson has helped stabilize the starters, while Frye brings the spacing that the bench lineup finally needed. The team will never be able to fix all of their holes on the trade market. It’ll take internal moves like this and players stepping up to help right the ship, regardless of what personnel changes happen in the next week.