By any metric, George Hill‘s tenure with the Sacramento Kings has been nothing short of a disaster. Hill signed a three-year, $57 million contract with the team this summer, and he’s having his worst statistical season since his rookie year, all while losing minutes to rookie point guards De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason. In fairness to Hill, he’s already missed two games with personal issues this season, and while we aren’t privy to what’s going on with Hill – nor should we be – that could be a factor in his on-court struggles this season.
When the Kings signed Hill, along with Zach Randolph and Vince Carter this offseason, it was under the assumption that these respected NBA veterans would aid in the development of the Kings’ young players. The Kings have 10 (ten!) players under rookie contracts, more than any other team in the NBA, and Hill, Randolph, and Carter, in theory, have plenty of experience and advice to pass down.
The Kings’ strategy here showed a notable philosophical shift when compared to how the organization handled DeMarcus Cousins’ development. During Cousins’ early years in Sacramento, the Kings didn’t have veterans like Hill, Carter, or Randolph to learn from, and Cousins would often cite the lack of leadership in the locker room as detrimental to his development as a player and person.
The Kings were trying to avoid that problem again, but according to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune, there was a massive communication breakdown somewhere.