Philadelphia 76ers: The George Hill situation somehow just got even worse

(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images) /

Therapist: George Hill isn’t a member of the Philadelphia 76ers anymore; he can’t hurt you.

George Hill: *Plans to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks*

Not one day removed from being officially waived by the Philadelphia 76ers in order to free up cap space heading into free agency, George Hill has found a new home with the Milwaukee Bucks, the team that initially signed him to a three-year, $30 million contract and shipped him to the OKC Thunder as part of the four-team Eric Bledsoe trade.

Is this an ideal situation? No. Is it fun to know that the Sixers will effectively be matching Hill’s salary with the Bucks just to allow him to sign with one of their leading contenders for the Eastern Conference crown? Oh goodness, no.

*Sigh* just when we thought the George Hill-era of Philadelphia 76ers’ history was over, yet another wrinkle has been added to this walking meme that has undoubtedly turned this an already bad situation downright tragic.

Maybe the Philadelphia 76ers underestimated George Hill’s market after all.

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From 2018-20, George Hill was a darn good player with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Filling the sort of lineup versatile combo guard role Daryl Morey surely envisioned when he traded a gaggle of second-round picks, cap filler, and Tony Bradley for his service, Hill played well with all of the Bucks’ guards and gave Mike Budenholzer a viable veteran floor general to turn to when he wanted to take the ball out of Eric Bledsoe and/or Giannis Antetokounmpo’s hands.

Hill played good defense, contributed both as a passer and on the boards, and even led the league in 3 point shooting percentage by draining 46 percent of his three 3 point attempts a night.

And now? Well, now Hill is set to return to Milwaukee in that very same role, a role filled in 2020-21 by Bryn Forbes, the Michigan State combo guard who just signed a new deal with San Antonio Spurs after a season away.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, so you’re telling me the Bucks lost a valuable member of their playoff rotation and were hand-delivered his replacement all so the Sixers could free up money to pursue roster-building opportunities that have yet to materialize? That’s… *Insert Chrissy Teigen cry face meme here.*

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m happy Hill is no longer a member of the Sixers. His contributions on the court for Philly last season were few and far between, and Doc Rivers‘ seeming unwillingness to strand him on the bench in favor of “hotter” players like Tyrese Maxey and Shake Milton remains one of the many, many, many questionable decisions that will forever haunt Philly fans when they think back on the 2020-21 NBA season. But hand-delivering him back to the Bucks without so much as having to compete for your standard, run-of-the-mill veteran minimum options feels like the sort of good luck that seemingly always favors Philly’s foes without gracing the City of Brotherly Love.

Assuming Hill looks more like his initial tenure with the OKC Thunder than his post-hand surgery run with the Sixers, Milwaukee may have just landed a steal who could come close to matching Forbes’ production on the court while providing some good old fashion leadership in one of the better locker rooms the league has to offer.

Pairing Hill up with Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, Donte DiVincenzo, Pat Connaughton, and swingman Rodney Hood could actually make for a pretty darn commendable backcourt, even if it lacks the sort of star power you’d typically expect at the two-guard spot on a defending champion.

Then again, when Coach Bud’s scheme can pretty much turn any random player off the street into a 40 percent 3 point shooter, maybe having an elite option at the two isn’t all that important.

Next. Georges Niang is a free agency risk worth taking. dark

Hopefully, this really is the final chapter of the George Hill saga with the Philadelphia 76ers. Hopefully, he plays out the year in Milwaukee, turns in a string of solid though unremarkable months with the reigning champions, and the decision to cut bait on his contract instead of pursuing a trade to pick his destination doesn’t come back to haunt the hallowed halls of the Wells Fargo Center. But do you know what? Something tells me this isn’t the end of the story. No, something tells me Hill is going to hit a big shot to secure a W over the Sixers, be a key performer in a playoff series, or worst of all, hit a Kawhi Leonard-esque shot to bump Philly out of the playoffs and send the Bucks back to the Finals. If that happens, the team has no one to blame but themselves.