• The Kings believed they had hit the jackpot by signing George Hill to a three-year, $57 million deal during the offseason. However it hasn’t panned out as they’d envisioned, but does that really come as a surprise?

    The success that Hill has experienced for much of his career has been absent during his brief stint in Sacramento. He just hasn’t looked like the player he was in recent seasons; an effective scorer and ball handler who’s a great team defender that truly has an impact on the game.

    Hill has been a winner for the majority of his NBA career. He experienced success with the Spurs, he spent time in the playoffs with the Pacers and helped the Jazz return to their winning ways. In Sacramento, the fit is awkward to say the least but the fact that the playing styles of those three teams are so different to that of the Kings is a big reason why Hill has been underwhelming.

    One major difference between Hill’s previous three NBA stops and now? Structure. The Spurs, Pacers and Jazz rely so heavily on structure and it is a big reason why they have had such sustained success.

    Hill is a systematical player who needs to play in a structured system to succeed. The Kings, unfortunately, are still trying to find an identity and that uncertainty just doesn’t float well with a guy like Hill.

    Hill is posting the worst offensive (100.4) and defensive ratings (112.7) of his career for a net rating of -12.3; the next lowest mark being 2.2 in his rookie season with the Spurs. Now those numbers aren’t the end all be all, and it doesn’t help that he’s playing on a team ranked dead last in both categories, but Hill’s impact on the team has been minimal and you would at least expect some sort of success to carry over.

    Hill’s only been on a losing team once in his career (2014-15 Pacers) prior to his time with the Kings so he’s not accustomed to an environment like this. Even during that lone losing season, Hill still posted some great numbers with an offensive rating of 107.0 and a defensive rating of 99.8, resulting in a net rating of 7.1 which is the fourth best mark of his career.

    He just isn’t making a difference on this team and that’s visible on the court as well as through stats.

    Could pace be another factor? Another noticeable trend with the Spurs, Pacers and Jazz is that as well as placing emphasis on structure, they also play at a slower pace than most teams. Hill’s posting the second highest pace percentage of his career at 95.38 which isn’t incredibly high at all. The Kings as a team are 26th in pace (95.0) on the season which is slower than usual for the team, however, that’s still higher than what Hill has experienced in the past.

    Hill’s usage rate is actually coming in at one of the lower marks of his career, which is surprising considering he’s on a bad team. With a career usage rate of 18.4, he’s normally a decent part of the offense but this season he’s coming in below average at 17.2, the third lowest mark in his nine seasons. The highest mark of his career came during his lone losing season in Indiana, posting a 24.3 usage rate. This, in turn, solidifies the fact that Hill probably isn’t being utilized in an optimal way which is proving detrimental to his overall performance.

    When it comes to passing, things don’t get a whole lot better for Hill who’s posting the second worst mark of his career in Sacramento (15.2 percent). His highest came, unsurprisingly, in that lone losing season again with an assist percentage of 30.4. Players tend to experience an increase in productivity across the board when playing on a poor team, and this rung true for Hill during that 2014-15 season with the Pacers, but on the Kings? The systematical effects are really starting to show.

    The trend with a lot of those stats aren’t great for Hill’s projections on the Kings. Could those projections have been made prior to Hill even suiting up for Sacramento? Possibly. All of the signs were pointing to failure but those signs were overlooked by the “veteran mentorship” the Kings were bringing in. Now the veteran mentorship isn’t being questioned here. The veterans added during the offseason have seemingly done a great job at that, but as far as on-court play is concerned that’s another story and it’s something that probably should have been considered more practically.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly interested in acquiring Hill in advance of the February 8 trade deadline. Odds are, if Hill does find himself on a team like the Cavs, he thrives. It’s an inevitable scenario that fans should prepare themselves for, wherever he may end up.

    Could Hill be dealing with an injury issue that’s holding him back in Sacramento? Hill has reportedly seen a physical therapist who deals with ballet dancers, regarding his foot, but he said it feels much better following the visit¬†according to David Locke. Hill’s dealt with a variety of injuries throughout his career so it’s certainly plausible that’s he’s dealing with another issue this season.

    Don’t be expecting much value back for Hill in any trade scenario. It’ll likely be large contracts and a draft pick or two. His value isn’t high right now but a lot of teams know that they can buy low on him due to the fact he’s seemingly under performing.

    The Kings aren’t seeking a veteran point guard in return for Hill either according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, so if it wasn’t already clear, they’re all in on the youth moving forward; the right organizational decision.

    Sadly, it was over before it even began for George Hill in Sacramento. In what seemed like an attractive addition in the offseason, it simply hasn’t worked out and the team would be right to move on.¬†There’s no denying that Hill can be a superb player, but just not on the Kings.

Fantasy News

  • Jimmy Butler
    SG, Miami Heat

    Jimmy Butler averaged 20.2 points, 0.5 3s, 6.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.5 blocks on .454 shooting in 54 games for 24/13 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Butler had some owners scared as he missed the beginning of the season due to the birth of his child, but it wouldn't mean much in the long run. He's a proven early-round asset and the 13th value was around where we had him. The 3-pointers went away, but he made up for it in defense and efficiency.

  • Bam Adebayo
    C, Miami Heat

    Bam Adebayo averaged 16.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks on .567 shooting in 65 games for 31/40 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Adebayo blossomed into the All-Star we pegged him as here at Hoop Ball.. The double-double machine was efficient from all areas of the floor and ran point for the Heat the majority of the time, especially on his own defensive rebounds as shown by his 5.1 dimes per-game. Adebayo's only 22 years old and posted top-40 value during his first year as a starter. The ceiling is the heavens.

  • Derrick Jones Jr.
    SF, Miami Heat

    Derrick Jones averaged 8.9 points, 0.7 3s, 4.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks on .514 shooting in 51 games for 155/114 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Jones' amazing leaping ability was what made him a household name as he was always astounding in the dunk contests, but he was able to translate the athleticism into some juicy fantasy value this year. He wasn't able to consistently provide value, which is something many Heat forwards struggle to do, but the defensive numbers gave him some nice upside as a flier/waiver wire pick.

  • Kendrick Nunn
    PG, Miami Heat

    Kendrick Nunn averaged 29.8 minutes, 15.6 points, 2.1 3s, 2.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.2 blocks on .448 shooting in 62 games for 127/132 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Nunn came out of no where this year and took over the reins as the Heat's primary scorer when Jimmy Butler missed the first few games due to the birth of his child. There wasn't any draft hype around Nunn in 2018 due to him pleading guilty to a charge of misdemeanor battery while in college, but the Heat signed him a year later to give him a shot. It would pay off on the basketball court as he was able to make a name for himself. Everything broke right for Nunn this season for him to crack top-130 value so it's hard to love the idea of him repeating his 2019-2020 breakout season.

  • Kelly Olynyk
    C, Miami Heat

    Kelly Olynyk averaged 7.7 points, 1.4 3s, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.3 blocks on .476 shooting for 192/188 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Olynyk was stuck in another up-and-down season with the carousel of forwards the Heat were playing. There was fatigue at the beginning of the year due to playing in the FIBA World Cup and he was slow to recover from the tiredness and some injuries. He also had to compete with even more bodies this season and the emergence of Bam Adebayo meant even less minutes for Olynyk. His stat set and skills are there, but the opportunity wasn't,

  • Andre Iguodala
    SF, Miami Heat

    Andre Iguodala averaged 4.4 points, 0.6 3s, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.1 blocks on .490 shooting in 14 games for 237/257 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Iguodala's holdout on the Grizzlies caused some controversy, but it worked out for him in the end as Pat Riley saved his season by trading for him and getting him on a contending team. His fantasy value was fringe on the Warriors so it was unlikely he would hold any on the Heat, but his real life impact was the big headline on the day he was traded. Expect to see Iggy play some real playoff minutes guarding the opposing team's best scorers as he can still defend with the best of them.

  • Solomon Hill
    SF, Miami Heat

    Solomon Hill averaged 5.4 points, 1.1 3s, 2.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.2 blocks on .403 shooting for 289/284 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Hill only played in six out of the 11 games for the Heat since being traded in a package with Jae Crowder and was an afterthought in the rotation. The Heat traded for Crowder and Hill was thrown in so it makes sense to see his playing time dip.

  • Kz Okpala
    F, Miami Heat

    Kz Okpala averaged 1.4 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.4 steals and 0.2 blocks on .600 shooting in five games for 438/428 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Okpala spent most of his season in the G-league to develop his skills as the second round pick only played in five games this year.

  • Gabe Vincent
    PG, Miami Heat

    Gabe Vincent averaged 2.0 points, 0.7 3s, 0.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 0.2 steals on .211 shooting in six games for 484/474 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    Vincent was signed for his sharpshooting skills and although the averages don't show it, he has the ability to hit the deep ball which is why he remains on the Heat roster. He won't get any real minutes unless those ahead of him in the rotation sit or get hurt.

  • Udonis Haslem
    PF, Miami Heat

    Udonis Haslem averaged 1.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in three games of action for 490/484 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.

    The most useful information from this blurb will be the fact that Haslem actually got off the bench for three games this season. Other than that, he was a veteran signing to help mentor the Heat and we wouldn't be surprised if he sticks around the organization even after he retires as a player.

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