For the past four days, people have been talking about George Hill "coming home" to Indianapolis. Today, he finally did.
Larry Bird and G.M. David Morway held a press conference today, introducing the former IUPUI Jaguar and Broad Ripple High School star as the newest member of the Indiana Pacers. Hill was all business as he walked in dressed in a suit and tie. He wanted to make sure that everyone knew he was coming here to help this franchise get back to the top.
As a member of the San Antonio Spurs for the first three years of his career, he was being groomed into the player that he has become. Now, as he joins this young Pacers squad, he will be looked to for leadership and guidance from the other guys on this team.
The transition from the Spurs to the Pacers is going to be a difficult one for him, and he admitted that after the trade was first announced. Not only was he a key contributor on that team, but he was extremely involved in the community. DeJuan Blair was his best friend on the team, and the pair was known as "Big 'N Smallz" on and off the court.
When Hill arrived at the Indianapolis Airport today, he was greeted with "Welcome Home" signs from members of "Area 55", the cheering section for Pacers' center Roy Hibbert. When Hill got to the security gate, he threw up high fives and signed a few autographs for the fans.
Hill did say that the trade was hard to process for a while, but he was aware of the great opportunity he has been given to play for his hometown team.
While he had built up some great friendships and other relationships in San Antonio, getting to gel with these young Pacers players shouldn't be a problem for him at all. Just exactly how he fits into the rotation is yet to be determined, as there are more roster moves to come before next season.
Looking at the team as it is constructed now, it is unlikely he will be a threat to Darren Collison. He might supplant Paul George as the starter at shooting guard, but that doesn't mean that Paul's minutes will be affected, as Larry Bird alluded to last week.
Outside of those three, you also have a chance to see A.J. Price and Lance Stephenson in the rotation, and remember that Paul George can play three positions.
With those guys looking to be the main part of the rotation, it could mean the end for guys like Dahntay Jones, Brandon Rush and Mike Dunleavy, who is actually a free agent as of now.
There will be plenty of room for Hill on the floor, as he will repair many of the holes this team had last year. Their inability to make clutch baskets toward the end of games is one spot where they have improved with the addition of Hill.
On the other side of the ball, he is a better defender than Collison is, as Collison proved last year when they had to stick Paul George on Derrick Rose during the playoffs. Hill brings a well-rounded game that will help in many areas.
All of the on-the-court stuff will sort itself out once the preparations for next year begin. Until then, we will sit and wait for the lockout mess to get cleaned up.