Windhorst: George Hill a Player to Watch for Clippers at Trade Deadline

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 19, 2021

Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill (3) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers could use some help at the point guard position, especially with Patrick Beverley currently out with right knee soreness.

On that front, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard George Hill's name was thrown out there as a possibility for the Clippers, per comments from ESPN's Brian Windhorst on Thursday's edition of The Jump.

The Hill remarks begin at the 3:40 mark, with discussion about the Clips' current pre-deadline situation starting at 3:00:

"If you're looking for one guy to look for, keep an eye on George Hill with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who's been out with surgery on his hand.

"He's a guy who played for [Clippers head coach Ty Lue] in Cleveland and could fit there, but it would probably take a trade of [Clippers guard Lou Williams] to get that to happen, so they just don't have a lot of options.

"They could really use somebody to get surprise bought out. It would really help them. Last year they got Reggie Jackson on the buyout market. They've been starting Reggie recently, but they need an upgrade there and there's not a lot of options for them to do it."

Hill has averaged 11.8 points on 50.8 percent shooting, 3.1 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game. He's only played 14 contests for the Thunder this year and none since Jan. 25 due to a mallet finger injury of his right thumb that required surgery on Feb. 2, per a team statement.

The latest news regarding the 34-year-old came from head coach Mark Daigneault, who told reporters Thursday (h/t Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman) that he was still in a cast.

"We're being cautious with him. He's working really hard to stay in shape. He's getting a lot of work in," Daigneault said.

The timetable for Hill's return from injury would certainly play a role in a hypothetical Clips-Thunder deal involving him (or a trade with any other team). However, the 13-year veteran would be a strong asset to any team that lands him for the stretch run if and when he returns.

Of note, he's been shooting quite well over the past two years, notably hitting 46.0 percent of his three-pointers with the Milwaukee Bucks last season.

As Windhorst noted, the Clippers have "less than a million dollars under the hard cap," meaning any trade would have to be for a player who takes less money. He also said that it's not realistic for the Clips to be players in the buyout free agent market.

L.A. can't trade any future first-round picks because it is over the luxury tax. The Clips do have second-round draft picks to trade, but Windhorst noted that any deal "probably would have to include a guy like Lou Williams in the trade."

Williams is third on the team in scoring with 12.2 points per game and currently leads the second unit offensively. In other words, trading Williams would only create another problem.

Regardless, L.A. has found itself in a tough situation, with the team currently sitting at 26-16 following a 105-89 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. It has lost eight of its last 12 games to fall to fourth in the Western Conference, 4.5 games behind the first-place Utah Jazz.

The good news is that 11 of the Clippers' next 13 games are at home, where the team is 13-6. Perhaps staying in the Staples Center for a longer period of time will help the Clippers right the ship.

However, the March 25 deadline is rapidly approaching if L.A. wants to make a trade before then.