The Philadelphia 76ers Should Target George Hill in Free Agency

Feb 11, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard George Hill (3) dribbles up the court during the first quarter against the Boston Celtics at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard George Hill (3) dribbles up the court during the first quarter against the Boston Celtics at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports /

With a big free agency approaching for the Philadelphia 76ers, they must decide whether or not to make a big move in free agency. Today, we look at why the 76ers should target Utah’s George Hill in free agency.

Coming off an era of acquiring assets and trading veterans for draft picks, it comes as no surprise that the Philadelphia 76ers are one of the youngest teams in the league. Despite having talented players such as Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Robert Covington, the Sixers lack a consistent veteran in the starting lineup. The 76ers are a talented team that could make the playoffs next year. With enough cap space to acquire the country of Greece’s debt, the 76ers need to use this to make a move.

Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers /

Philadelphia 76ers

However, cap space can also be the worst thing for a young team. Think Mike Dunleavy Sr. regrets giving the laziest NBA player of all time, Tim Thomas, 4 years, $24 million to put the Clippers on a decline equal to AOL’s stock? You also think Joe Dumars regrets betting all of Detroit’s cap space in 2009 on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva? The answer is yes, because sometimes cap space makes you do dumb things such as giving way too much money to system role players or players that you wouldn’t pick to run 5’s with at the YMCA.

The Sixers need to hit a homerun this free agency period. The last big free agent moves the 76ers made was post Achilles tear Elton Brand. The Brand signing forced the Sixers to enter an era filled with mediocre play and first round playoff exits. That home run is George Hill and here’s why the 76ers should target George Hill.

Reason #1: George Hill is a winner

Throughout his career, George Hill has been on many great teams and has fit in well. Like Eric Clapton in any band, Hill always finds a way to adapt and make whatever team he is on successful. In San Antonio, Hill was one of the first guys off the bench for Pop. According to ESPN, Hill played so well there that there were discussions about trading Tony Parker and making Hill the permanent centerpiece.

In Indiana, Hill was one of the most consistent players for Vogel’s Pacers. He helped run the offense, slow down the pace and play great defense. He was one of the most underrated role players in the league.

Related Story: Why the 76ers Should Avoid George Hill

As a result of being underrated, the Pacers thought it would be a great idea to replace Hill with Jeff Teague and sent Hill to Utah. Indiana struggled this year without Hill, while Utah won their first NorthWest Division Title since George W Bush was president.

Hill’s leadership and skills helped turn Gordon Hayward into an all-star and Rudy Gobert into a defensive monster. Hill helped create a culture of winning and professionalism for a team that hadn’t had a deep postseason run since Jerry Sloan was coaching.

In Philadelphia, Hill could do the same thing. He could help build a culture of winning for a team that has constantly lost many games. He can mentor the younger guys and help them improve. Hill could be the piece who gets the Sixers to even the 2nd round next season.

Reason #2: Hill’s skill set fits well with the 76ers

George Hill’s skill set fits well with the 76ers. Hill has often shared the ball with many superstars, so he can play off the ball. This is great for a team that wants to experiment with Ben Simmons as a point guard. Hill can bring up the ball as well and get teammates involved. The statistics show that Hill has low assist numbers, but that does not tell the whole stories. In Indiana and Utah, Hill was on teams that played very slow. As a result, his assists numbers were often low. Hill makes his teammates better.

Must Read: 2017 NBA Mock Draft 2.0

For example, look at Gordon Hayward. Since the Jazz acquired Hill, Hayward has shot four percent better on field goals and five percent better on three-pointers. Hill has unleashed Hayward into a slick shooting star. Hill has constantly made players on his team more efficient and sets them in positions to succeed.

Hill also is a great shooter. The biggest need the Sixers have is shooting. Hill will bring shooting for a Sixers team that desperately needs it. For his career, Hill is a career-38 percent shooter from 3-point land and shot 40 percent from there last season. Hill will make defenses avoid crowding the paint and make the game easier for Simmons and Embiid.

To make matters better, Hill is a great defender. Hill is one of the top defensive point guards in the league and will be tasked with guarding ones if the Sixers sign him. He can be the guy guarding Lowry, Wall, and Irving for the 76ers.

Basketball insiders such as Zack Lowe often describe Hill as one of the most underrated point guards in the league.

Hill is an old fashion point guard who shoots well, passes the ball, plays great defense and inspires his team to win. He is an excellent starter who fits well with this growing team.

Reason #3: If the 76ers get involved, the Jazz will be forced to give Hill the max

When the 76ers are involved in the free agent market, they tend to force teams such as the Clippers and the Spurs to overpay their players to get them to stay. If the Sixers are a known contender for George Hill, it will force Utah to sign him to a max and kill their cap space.

Utah is a small market team that likely does not want to get into the luxury tax. This would force them to decide if they can roll with this core or to rebuild. To saddle another team with cap space problems is often a successful approach.

For example, look at Portland last year. Last year, the Trail Blazers were forced to pay millions to retain their core and are now stuck with a bunch of average players making too much money. Forcing teams to shell out too much money can always be beneficial to a team.

Best case, the Sixers get a quality starter who can teach the young guys how to win. Worst Case, the Sixers force Utah to pay the max and get into the luxury tax. I don’t see why not try to get George Hill.