But the deal won’t necessarily be as costly as it initially sounded.
Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:
The Kings still had to outbid the market for George. Nobody is rushing to Sacramento for less than top dollar.
But this contract is far more manageable than one that would have guaranteed Hill $20 million at age 33. He’s far more tradable, or – if his production declines in the next couple years – waivable.
I still question the wisdom of the Kings, who also signed Zach Randolph and Vince Carter, pushing in this year. They owe their unprotected 2019 first-round pick to the 76ers or Celtics. So, this season was Sacramento’s last chance to tank before their young players developed too much for that to be a viable strategy.
Buddy Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, Malachi Richardson, Georgios Papagiannis, De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles and Bogdan Bogdanovic form a nice young core. It’s not one strong enough to bank on, and I think a higher lottery pick this year would go further than Hill’s veteran mentorship.
Maybe Hill plays well enough to be traded for value. Maybe he leads a surprising upstart into the playoffs sooner than expected.
Those are narrow targets to hit, but at least the Kings are trying with Hill’s contract being less of a long-term burden.