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When George Hill signed a three-year, $57 million free agent deal with the Sacramento Kings in the offseason, the veteran point guard was under the impression the team was going to be competitive and that he was brought in to help stabilize the backcourt and be a mentor to rookie De’Aaron Fox.
The Kings, however, are off to another putrid start to the season and reports have surfaced that Hill and some of the other older guys on the roster are not happy about the direction the franchise is taking.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported in December that the Kings’ veterans were rounded up early in the year and told the philosophy has shifted — that Sacramento’s front office isn’t interested in winning and more concerned with acquiring a top-five draft pick instead.
Not surprisingly, Hill isn’t thrilled about the situation he’s in after having a productive season with the Utah Jazz in 2016-17. Hill is averaging 6.8 less points this year and has looked disengaged on both sides of the ball most nights.
Hill’s name has been mentioned in a bevy of trade rumors and the 31-year-old doesn’t seem to mind if he gets moved.
“One thing I’ve learned is that you have to keep your bags packed,” Hill told the Sacramento Bee. “You never know. If it happens, it happens. But I’ve made great relationships in this locker room and with this club. If I leave, I’ll look them in the face, shake their hand and thank them for the opportunity.
“[This season has been] very frustrating. I’ve never been through anything like this, not ever. It’s not what I expected, a little more difficult than I anticipated. I think as a team we all get along. We like being around each other, like doing things together. But we’re still trying to learn each other, and it’s a different style of play. I’ve just got to figure things out.
“Whatever they ask me to do is fine. We’re trying to develop the young guys, get them on the court. You’re going to have bumps and bruises when you have so many young guys with only one year of experience or less. My thing is, when you play a team like the Spurs, learn to play the right way. They commit, they talk, they screen hard. They get into their man. Become better by learning.”