The Oklahoma City Thunder guard is currently wearing a cast following right thumb surgery on Feb. 2. While it was deemed a minor surgical procedure, Hill is expected to miss at least four weeks and then he’ll need ample time to regain strength on the shooting finger in his dominant hand. The 34-year-old hasn’t played a game since Jan. 24.
Nonetheless, Hill’s name has surfaced as a possible trade target for Philly who might be looking to add another shooter to the rotation. Point guard Ben Simmons still has no three-point shot (no jumper period) and Tyrese Maxey (27.3%) and Shake Milton (31.3%) have both struggled from deep.
George Hill and PJ Tucker are my ideal duo for the Sixers to acquire by the trade deadline.
– both are established vets who know their role
– they are the exact player archetypes the Sixers need
– both bring veteran/playoff experience
— Kevin McCormick (@KevinMcC973) February 27, 2021
Hill, a former first-round pick in 2008, has built a reputation as a professional shooter. His 46% mark from beyond the arc led the NBA last year. Bleacher Report proposed a deadline deal where the Sixers give up Vincent Poirier, Mike Scott, 2021 first-round pick (top-18 protection) in exchange for Hill.
The Thunder guard is averaging 11.8 points per game while shooting 38.6% from deep. He should be healthy in time for a playoff push. Here’s what Dan Favale wrote:
Philly can concede a heavily protected first-rounder without worrying about buyer’s remorse. Hill can only augment an offense that ranks 27th in three-point frequency and 18th in accuracy; he won’t make or break it. And the Sixers don’t have to treat him as a rental if the partnership works out. His $10 million salary next season is manageable, but they can show him the door for a mere $1.3 million should things go belly-up.
ben simmons is hitting 57.1% on of his hook shots this season (28/49)—and 63.3% since feb. 1 (19/30). he's up from 46.1% in '19-20. they're accounting for a slightly larger share of his fgas overall (20.9% since feb. 1), and he's hit some really nice ones on the move. pic.twitter.com/pFmffia7aC
— Dan Favale (@danfavale) March 2, 2021
Joel Embiid Keeps Top Spot in MVP Rankings
It’s only the halfway point of the 2020-21 season but things are looking up for Joel Embiid. The Sixers big man surpassed LeBron James on NBA.com’s Kia MVP Ladder on Feb. 26 and keeps the top spot for a second straight week. The fact that Embiid dropped 40 points and grabbed 19 boards against the league’s best team didn’t hurt.
“Those are the matchups that you want to go out there and just dominate,” Embiid said after beating the Utah Jazz, “and prove to everybody that as a team, we have a great team, and, individually, you should be up there when it comes to those rankings and stuff.”
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 4, 2021
James has slipped down to third in the rankings, with Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets taking over second place. Embiid is becoming the clear-cut favorite to win MVP, thanks to averaging 30.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 blocks per game in the first half of the season. He’s also an MVP human being after donating $100,000 to charity.
Sixers Get Eight Days Rest at Halfway Point
Meanwhile, the Sixers will head into the All-Star break with the second-best record in the NBA at 24-12. The team will get to enjoy eight full days off, too — a chance for players to get rested mentally and physically for the stretch run. The Sixers don’t hit the court again until March 11 at Chicago. Well, most of the players can relax. Embiid and Simmons are scheduled to play in Sunday night’s All-Star Game in Atlanta.
All of All-Star in One Night!
— #NBAAllStar (@NBAAllStar) March 3, 2021