Bricktown Beat

Recent reports link George Hill and Trevor Ariza to several contenders as trade deadline looms

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Approaching the final 10 days before the March 25 trade deadline, franchises making a playoff-push are looking to stack their rosters with sought after talent. As broken down by The Athletic’s Senior NBA Insider Shams Charania, Thunder members George Hill and Trevor Ariza are garnering interest.

Several playoff contenders have interest in both Hill and Ariza, sources say. The Clippers are among teams interested in Hill, sources said. Hill has been a positive veteran player for Oklahoma City, and coupled with the fact that he has another season left on his contract in 2021-22 ($10 million, partially guaranteed), the Thunder are happy retaining Hill into the second half of the season unless a team meets their asking price for the veteran point guard. Ariza, meanwhile, is on an expiring deal worth $12.8 million. As the next 10 days play out, more discussions are bound to take place.

Shams Charania

As outlined by Charania, the Oklahoma City Thunder has some cushion is regards to George Hill — not so much with Trevor Ariza.

Hill struts into the trade market with a sizeable amount of value with averages of 11.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in his 13-game stint with the team. The 34-year-old meshed deftly with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the starting lineup, providing a team-high 47.5 percent success rate on catch-and-shoot threes while tacking on ball-handling abilities in SGA’s absence.

Hill’s remaining contract of 9.5M remains fully guaranteed for the remainder of the season, but his partially guaranteed 10M expiring opens the door for future endeavors if his team chooses to do so.

In the case of the Oklahoma City Thunder, they likely would move Hill sooner rather than later. The mid-season emergences of guards Theo Maledon and Ty Jerome have in essence, swallowed up Hill’s prior 25-minute role with the team. Hill, wielding a double-digit advantage over Gilgeous-Alexander (22), Maledon (19, and Jerome (23) gives palpable guidance to the young bucks, but his timeline really brings opposing viewpoints to a rebuilding Thunder team.

This is not the first time George Hill has been surfaced in trade rumors, as the combo-guard reportedly had interest from Philadelphia in mid-February. As the deadline approaches their may be even more teams placing their bids.

For Los Angeles, their first-round selections for the next six years are reserved to the Thunder already via unprotected or swap. Luckily they have made attempts to recuperate, swinging three Detroit future seconds over the offseason (2024, 2025, 2026) stacking their 12 selections until 2027. A haul to snag the point-guard likely involves some future second-round draft compensation, but making the money work for a deal creates issues. The Clippers need to fit the 9.5M criteria, and with no obvious castaways garnering major money, players such as Lou Williams ($8M) or Ivica Zubac ($7M) would need to be incorporated in absence of a third team.

In regards to Trevor Ariza, he enters the market with a clean slate. Ariza opted to miss the infancy stages of the preseason and regular season due to family matters, but the forward’s paid leave has continued, not even reaching the practice facility.

The upside to a player in Trevor Ariza is his $12.8M expiring produces cap space in a well-rounded free agent class, while helping in the now for a prospective playoff run. The 35-year-old brings a decorated resume to potential suitors, being a staple in the Lakers 2008-2009 title run while continuing his success in a four-year span with the Harden-led Houston Rockets.

No eminent figures have linked Ariza to any particular team thus far, but a eagerly brewing market is set to bubble in the awaiting days, and Ariza should be high on their list.

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