The boss man wanted me to make this a fanpost (slave driver, I tell ya), so here it is (with severe delay on being posted). Perhaps, I'll get into more detail if the peeps want more... :)
George Hill is an awesome person, first and foremost. I think that's what makes him the most likeable, above everything else. He was the first big NCAA draftee that the Spurs took in ages and it signaled that the Spurs might need to change up their drafting strategy as the team continued to get older. He essentially opened up the flood gates for what now is the Spurs transition, while still trying to contend for a championship. He'll always be an awesome person and he went to a great young athletic team where he can make his mark (a team worth following and cheering for).
With that said, the NBA is a business and the Spurs had to do something. Georgie was their best trade asset and Spurs really needed to get bigger, even if it wasn't at the 4/5 positions. If he were 6'6 to 6'8, he'd probably be a Spurs still. They likely wouldn't draft Anderson in that case (or maybe they would because he does seem like a steal who is still under the radar).
So jumping back to my summary of reasons why he isn't with the Spurs any longer.
- Hill is in his final year of his current contract. He will need to be paid. I have a tough time seeing him not get the full MLE at the very least. Spurs are trying to win/re-build at the same time, but spending right now needs to be somewhat conservative with all the potential talent around.
- Hill’s growth last year tapered off. It did appear that he improved a little bit, but his a bit of a ceiling. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t more valuable to the Spurs than the year before, but it’s tough once you have decisions to make.
- Hill is not a point guard. Spurs tried to force him into there. This decision was to trade was also made before the Ford signing. They did draft Joseph with a late first to fill in this void.
- Spurs needed to get bigger at the wings. Yes, Neal is still here and although 6’5 (so bigger), he doesn’t have the athleticism. Spurs right now have Manu/Anderson/Green/Leonard as their athletic wings that have a bit more size than Hill. [Edit: De'Sean Butler was also with the Spurs at the time]
- Spurs have other talent that is able to do a lot of the things he could do. Anderson is the number one name that pops into my head. He arguably has bigger upside and has more size to play the 3 as well as the 2. You also have a taller Green who can shoot and play D (and is cheap). Yes, Green can still be cut, but so far Anderson looks like what everyone was expecting last year.
- The deal gave them Leonard, Bertrans, and Lorbek. We’d likely have seen the other two in the summer if there was no lockout. Leonard is still raw, but he already shows that promise. And a lineup of Anderson/Leonard/Joseph for the future is scary. [Edit: Leonard is definitely continuing to make the peeps happy]
- Joseph. People are high on him already [Later edit: some prefer him over Ford already. Although some wanted Beno to take Parker's place as well] . He’s one year out of college and already shows good poise. He’s like Hill (in size), but can play PG, but also plays D.