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Reports: Spurs trade for Kawhi Leonard, send George Hill to Pacers

Jun 23, 2011, 9:35 PM EDT

kawhi-leonard-spurs Getty Images

The Pacers drafted San Diego State star Kawhi Leonard with the 15th pick in the first round, but the team has traded him to the Spurs for George Hill, according to multiple reports. The Pacers will also send the 42nd pick in this year’s draft to San Antonio as part of the deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

The Spurs had been working frantically to try to trade into the lottery, with rumors being floated of deals involving Tony Parker and Richard Jefferson over the last couple of days. With Leonard dropping out of the lottery, the Spurs were able to pick him up without giving up nearly that much.

Leonard averaged 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game in his last college season, and will give San Antonio a nice infusion of athleticism. Hill was an important role player for the Spurs last season, but doesn’t have nearly the long-term promise of a player like Leonard. And with Gary Neal‘s emergence as a solid backup to Parker, San Antonio obviously felt that Hill was expendable for the right player in return.

San Antonio is a franchise that has a history of making intelligent moves at draft time. It appears to have just bolstered that reputation.

  1. edmazeing1 - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    Hill played with heart ever game he got in 4 us, sad day as a spurs fan!!!

  2. centexhorn - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    I like it. I’m happy. We need a star in San Antonio. George Hill is a good player, but he’s not a star.

  3. lakesidelakersfan - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    I saw kawhi play several times last season and the things that were noticable from the opening tip is his ability to rebound with the trees, and handle the ball like a guard. He will have to improve his shooting percentage, but that will come in time. (aka jason kidd). The Spurs just got better.

  4. davidly - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    So a Broad Ripple alum is going back to Indy. Stacy Toran, anyone:

    Good for Naptown. Good for the Pacers. I hope Hill wanted it too.

  5. ginnitti - Jun 24, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    San Antonio has always played its cards properly in situations like this. They provided George Hill with just enough gametime this past season to prove his value in the case that a scenario like this should arise. The Tony Parker trade talk was probably just smoke to garner interest from additional clubs, and in the end they solidified more depth, and youth, as their longtime stars fade into old age. It’s tough to watch this team, but it’s tough to hate them too.

    In choosing Neal over Hill they shored up almost $2.5 million dollars, now paying their backup point guard $788k next season instead of over $2 million.

    Source: http://www.spotrac.com/nba/indiana-pacers/george-hill/

  6. borisalessandri - May 25, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    I agree with this trade. Some time in the future he’s going to be an awesome player

    • thundercocck - May 25, 2014 at 7:37 PM

      LOL Did you travel to the future just to post that comment

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