Welcome to the Brew Hoop’s entirely subjective and emotionally-driven 2019-20 Milwaukee Bucks season player evaluations! Similar to last year’s series, we’ll take a look at each current Buck and ask three questions: what do they do that helps (Boon), what do they do that hurts (Bane), and whether they ought to be on this team (Belonging).
Ever since arriving in a midseason
rescue trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, George Hill has been a major part of the Milwaukee Bucks guard rotation. His veteran presence benefits the Bucks on both sides of the floor, and over the course of the pre-bubble regular season he was the most accurate three-point shooter in the league. Unfortunately, he was unable to maintain his mojo in Orlando, and he could not keep Milwaukee afloat in the playoffs.
George’s Boon: Stability
When he plays, George Hill is the adult in the room on whatever lineup he joins. He has solid fundamentals on both sides of the ball, and boasts superior length to most combo guards across the NBA. He’s not a lead player anymore, but his versatility makes him a valuable fit in most lineups, especially as a floor-spacer. Hill hit 46.0% of his threes last season, a significant jump from his already-respectable career average of 38.4%, but he was also an excellent finisher at the rim (76.1% FG% from 0-3 feet), all while giving very little reason for concern on defense.
George’s Bane: Availability
Since his days as a Pacer, Hill has been penciled in to miss roughly 25% of the regular season year after year, and time is not on his side. He will turn 35 next season, and will count for $9.6M on the Bucks’ salary cap. Retention was the consensus opinion last offseason, even knowing that Hill’s “injury prone” label was somewhat well-earned. But with the Bucks’ point guard position in such a state of flux, is a near-eight-figure salary a wise expenditure when availability is such a prominent question mark?
Does George Belong?
Hill was distinctly not great in the playoffs, but was still the Bucks’ best overall point guard by a significant margin. Even at his age, Hill is the type of steady veteran that usually plays an important role on teams with championship aspirations. The Bucks have, unfortunately, paid dearly for the privilege, at the cost of any additional flexibility during an offseason where they need all the wiggle room they can muster to further improve the roster. As a bench player, Hill is tailor-made for the Bucks’ roster; in a more prominent role, his contributions have to be more heavily weighed against his limitations, and that calculation could lead to a surprise move as the Bucks sacrifice a good veteran player in order to facilitate the necessary upgrades to the roster.