Though the NBA free agent point guard market has largely dried up, George Hill is a big name still out there. Might he be a fit for the Denver Nuggets?
NBA free agency has been under way for three days now. While there are plenty of high-end free agents still out there, the point guard market has largely fizzled out. Players like Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday and Jeff Teague have all inked new contracts. Even Ricky Rubio was traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the division rival Utah Jazz. So what about George Hill?
Well, since he’s been replaced via trade by Rubio, the former Jazz and Indiana Pacers point guard will have to look for a new team to sign with. Going back to his native Indianapolis seems out of the question because the Pacers are rebuilding.
Two teams that have had interest in him early on his free agency process have been on the West Coast: the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings. We can now add a third team in the mix for Hill’s services: the Denver Nuggets.
According to USA TODAY’s Sam Amick, “George is talking to Lakers [Monday] about one-year deal” but “is still an option for Denver as well, as the Nuggets are trying to clear cap space would help with” bring Hill into the fold and potentially re-signing small forward Danilo Gallinari.
With the Lakers, the idea is that Hill or former Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo could be an on-court mentor for No. 2 overall pick in Lonzo Ball. Since Hill is still in his prime and Rondo might have exited his, that might be a better situation for him to go to the Lakers.
As for the Nuggets, landing Hill would be phenomenal for them. They have already added former Atlanta Hawks All-Star power forward Paul Millsap in the wee hours of Monday morning. While adding Hill and Millsap could mean Danilo Gallinari is on the way out, it seems that Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly isn’t ruling out the possibility that the Italian swingman could return to Denver.
Adding Hill makes the Nuggets even more of a contender to make the Western Conference playoffs. Him going to Denver could be an interesting Nugget [pun intended] in the Rocky Mountain rivalry with the Jazz.
However, landing Hill in free agency will be both expensive and more proof that young point guard Emmanuel Mudiay’s time with the Nuggets has run out. Frankly, Denver can’t be bad at point guard any longer if the Nuggets want to make the playoffs. As he was with the Jazz, Hill would be a marked improvement in the Denver backcourt.