Thunder Trade Rumors: Clippers Target George Hill; Contenders Eye Trevor Ariza

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill (3) during an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

With the Oklahoma City Thunder focused on their long-term future, George Hill and Trevor Ariza are reportedly drawing interest from opposing teams leading up to the March 25 trade deadline. 

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, "several playoff contenders" have an eye on Hill and Ariza. 

The Los Angeles Clippers are among the teams interested in acquiring Hill. 

The Clippers have a clear need for an offensive point guard, like Hill, who can run the offense to help set up Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Patrick Beverley remains an effective defensive player, but he's limited with the ball in his hands and is only averaging 2.1 assists in 29 starts. 

The Thunder have done well in their rebuild so far this season. Their 17-22 record ranks 11th in the Western Conference, two games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final spot in the play-in tournament. 

Despite being on the fringes of playoff contention, Oklahoma City has had an eye on its long-term outlook with virtually every move it has made since dealing Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in July 2019. 

The Thunder could end up with at least two first-round picks in each of the next six drafts through 2026 if swaps and protections go in their favor. 

Ariza is earning $12.8 million this season and will be eligible for free agency during the offseason. The 35-year-old has been away from the Thunder due to a family situation since being acquired in a November trade with the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons

Hill's contract includes a partial guarantee of $1.275 million next season and becomes fully guaranteed at $10,047,297 if he's not waived by June 30. He's been out of action since Jan. 14 due to a thumb injury. The 34-year-old is averaging 11.8 points and 3.1 assists in 14 starts.