The Philadelphia 76ers made a move Thursday when they acquired veteran George Hill from the Oklahoma City Thunder. He’s a solid move in the grand scheme of things, as he’s a proven veteran who can help the Sixers right now in their quest for a title.
However, while Hill is a solid acquisition, for some time it looked like the Sixers were going to focus on Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry.
There were reports early Thursday that Toronto had a Philadelphia sale price for Lowry and the Sixers and Raptors were moving toward a deal. According to Rogers Sportsnet’s Michael Grange, Philadelphia was on the yard line to strike a deal to acquire Lowry.
Hearing the Sixers are making a late push here for Lowry. ‘On the 1-yard line’ …
– Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) March 25, 2021
Unfortunately, the Sixers didn’t acquire Lowry, they acquired Hill, and he’s still a solid option. Hill is a 38.7% running shooter from deep and plays defense well enough to be known as a two-way player at point guard.
“I can’t specifically target a player from another team, but obviously, at the trade deadline, you have a lot of options,” Morey said. “There is a lot of speculation about the options that exist. All I can say is that we are very excited about the option that we ended up with. I think we made the deal about two hours before the deadline and took an option that we think really improved our team this year on both ends. “
The Toronto asking price was a bit high. The Raptors were asking rookie Tyrese Maxey as well as second-year guard Matisse Thybulle along with two first-round picks in exchange for Lowry, who turned 35 on Thursday. The 2019 NBA champion is also ready to enter free agency and was looking for an extension.
“We also kept all of our important assets going forward,” Morey added. We really feel good about this option. It allows us to really improve our team for the playoff wars to come, while keeping all of our bullets if there is an option available in the future. “
While Hill is not a spring hen at 34, he has another year on his contract for the 2021-22 season, so Philadelphia knows he will be with the team next season. All of those factors made it a bit risky to give up all those assets to bring in a guy who might leave at the end of the season.
“We kept our optionality alive for the future,” Morey concluded. “If George Hill becomes an integral part of this team, we think he will, we have the option to keep him and not let him go to free agency.”
Meanwhile, the Sixers will face the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday at the Staples Center at 10 pm EST.
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