Pacers 2011 Draft Day Grades and Reactions

Just a link dump of what everyone is saying about Indy’s draft day performance:

  • Zach Lowe of has the best piece I’ve seen on the Pacers/Spurs trade of Kawhi Leonard/pick #42/the rights to Erazem Lorbek for George Hill: “the numbers peg Hill more as a shooting guard with nice ball-handling skills than someone ready to run a team full time. Luckily for the Pacers, they have a young point guard ready to run an offense full time in Darren Collison, and they have a major need for consistent scoring on the wing. Hill, an Indianapolis native who starred at IUPUI, can fill the same role with the Pacers that he played in San Antonio. He’ll be an immediate upgrade over shooting guards Dahntay Jones, Brandon Rush and Paul George.”
  • Rob Mahoney breaks down the trade for the NBA blog of record: “This trade not only transforms George Hill back into Indiana George, but provides the clean slate necessary for Hill to revisit his basketball roots. With the Pacers, Hill has the opportunity to participate in a more flexible offensive system. He’ll play with and without the ball in his hands, and hopefully be able to tap into that explosive scoring capability on a more regular basis while retaining his defensive aptitude. Indiana has plenty of minutes, shot attempts and opportunities for Hill, but the marriage between player and team will rely on Hill’s own willingness to let go – to bring to mind all of the restrictions he has placed on himself, and knowingly cast them aside. You can take George Hill out of San Antonio, but can this trade take the San Antonio out of George Hill?”
  • Tom Lewis of Indy Cornrows thinks Hill is a versatile player the Pacers need: “He’s not a backup point guard or an undersized shooting guard – Hill is a player. Hill can play either guard spots with any of the other guards on the current roster. But more importantly, Hill is a productive, professional player. Put him on the court and he will consistently play hard at both ends, giving the Pacers playing rotation a much needed boost in reliability and leadership.”
  • Yahoo’s Kelly Dwyer gives the Pacers a B: “I don’t know what Hill does for a middling team like the Pacers, but he’s a combo guard we know can contribute. No amount of scouting reports and likely potential payoff can make up for someone who is NBA tested. So, solid work, nothing more.”
  • ESPN’s Chad Ford gives the Pacers a B+ (ESPN Insider): “[Hill's] versatility, toughness and playoff experience on a veteran roster all help accelerate the Pacers’ rebuilding project. He can step in immediately and give them something they need: a guard who can create his own shot and defend.
  • Matt Moore and/or Ben Golliver of CBS give the Pacers a B+: “This was a sneaky good night for the Pacers. I’m high on George Hill’s potential when it’s his show to run, and a sliding Kawhi Leonard — the best player left on the board — was going to be extraneous in Indiana.”
  • NBC’s Kurt Helin gives the Pacers a B, but also seems to think they had two first rounders so might not be the best source here.
  • Tom Ziller of SB Nation is one of the few guys panning this deal. He gave the Pacers a D under the rationale that I imagine many championship-or-bust/swing-for-the-fences proponents are using today: “The Indiana Pacers were in the fortuitous spot of having a No. 15 in the 2011 NBA Draft in which a number of prized talents slipped out of the lottery. The Pacers struck gold with … George Hill. Did I say gold? I meant, uh, George Hill? They struck George Hill … The Pacers now have Darren Collison, Hill and A.J. Price under contract. Am I missing something? Is Indiana planning on merging Collison and Hill in a grand science experiment?”

Tags: 2011 NBA Draft George Hill San Antonio Spurs

  • btyler

    Tom Ziller just sounds ridiculously ignorant. It’s obvious he didn’t watch a single Pacers game last year that wasn’t against the Heat, Lakers, or Knicks. AJ Price is very likely on his way out of Indy now that he’s obsolete. Although, I do agree that we shouldn’t have traded completely out of the draft and just walk away with George Hill. But I’m still ecstatic to have Hill back home. He might help attract Eric Gordon’s attention, as well as the rest of the still-rebuilding team. And if he doesn’t attract EJ, maybe he’ll help make us good enough to attract any “big name” free agent.

  • Chad

    Ziller is a tool. Just because they made this trade on draft night in June means that their roster is now set? They have absolutely no bigs, and they will most likely try to package a deal with some wing players (especially Rush) to land a PF. They will also be going nuts in free agency this year. Wake up Ziller.

  • chris

    im excited to see the pacers got hill!!!! i think kawhi is danny granger2.0 with better rebounding ability and will thrive on the spurs but the pacers dont need him. hill will provide clutch scoring and decent defense plus with this move rush will most likely be traded along with 1-2 others for a power forward for sure. if we dont snag david west or another in free agency. future is lookin pretty good. its about damn time bird gets to do what hes been trying to do all along. build this state a worthy basketball team. go pacers and tom ziller is a douchebag!

  • Mark

    I’m not a huge Rush fan either, but why is everyone assuming he’s getting traded? We have roughly 30 million to play with in FA to get a big. And AJ’s and Lance’s future isn’t so much brighter than Brandon’s. With getting Hill, AJ would be the first option to get traded just because we don’t need 3 PGs. Lance and Brandon can play the 2 spot and defend a little.

  • Andy Zehner

    Ugh. The only thing worse than reading what these scribblers’ before-the-fact predictions is reading their post facto assessments. All we learn reading these post draft grades is, as ‘btyler’ points out above, which writers know the least about the Pacers.

    Jared Wade does his readers a service by pulling all the comments together in one place. But I, for one, trust Bird’s and Morway’s decision.

  • pa pa patrick

    during draft night i was mad about this pick, but apparently george hill is the real deal. the only i have is that his name isn’t fun enough to get a jersey for. if only we had our own rondo-esque name