May 28, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill (3) dribbles the ball against the Miami Heat in game four of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana won 99-92. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Why a Steve Nash for George Hill Trade Makes Sense for Both Lakers and Pacers


Mar 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash (10) brings the ball upcourt during a game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers 99-93. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers were blown out in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, 99 to 76, but they have no reason to hang their heads as they had an outstanding series. The Pacers showed their grit, toughness and advantageous inside game that until game 7 the Heat couldn’t figure out. Paul George took another step in his development and is coming closer to becoming an elite perimeter player in this league.

With the series now over we can now see clearly the areas that the Pacers can improve so that they can take the next in their development into a serious championship contender. What we know now is that the Pacers obviously lack depth, outside shooting and the biggest weaknesses of all, ball handling. In game 7 the Pacers fell behind quickly mainly due to their 15 first half turnovers and ended the night with a series high 21 turnovers. The Pacers averaged close to 16 turnovers for the series.

Do you not see it what I see? What the Pacers lack as a team is exactly what Steve Nash does well.

Steve Nash might be 39 years old, but even at that advanced age he is leaps and bounds better of a ball handler and shot creator than anybody on the Pacers roster. Also, Nash is still one of the best all-around shooters in the league as his 49 percent shooting percentage from the field and 43.8 percent from threes will show. He can be a deadly spot up shooter and outlet for Paul George drives or Hibbert out of the post.

Paul George was burdened with various responsibilities in the series against the Heat because of their shortcomings with their roster. He had to be their primary perimeter scorer, guard Lebron James and bring the ball up court and set up the offense in the half court many times as well. That is way too much to ask a player to do and still expect him to have anything left in the tank to close out games. By the time game 7 came around, Paul George was spent; only being able to muster 7 points on 2 for 7 shooting in 33 minutes before fouling out. Steve Nash would lessen Paul George’s load immensely so that George has more energy to close out games and if needed, playoff series.

Why does George Hill work for the Lakers? The Lakers roster desperately needs to get younger, quicker and more athletic. They also need to add players that can consistently knock down an outside shot to help relieve the congestion in the post for the Lakers bigs, presumably, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard.

Hill is not the shooter that Steve Nash is, but is still very effective, especially as a spot up shooter. Hill is definitely not the ball handler that Nash is but with the Lakers and Bryant handling the ball for the majority of the time on the floor, he doesn’t need to be. The Lakers need quicker legs in the perimeter to improve their defense and younger players that they can count to finish the season and play heavy minutes if needed. These are all things that a 27 year old Hill can do and what Nash can no longer.

The trade of Steve Nash for George Hill works perfectly in terms of the financials of their contracts, as both make close to the same amount per year; the only difference is that Hill’s contract is 2 years longer than Nash’s (4 more years vs. 2 more years).

Nash would likely be against the trade as he agreed to be traded to the Lakers due to Los Angeles close proximity to his family in Phoenix, but unless my research is flawed (that rarely happens), he doesn’t have a no trade clause to prevent it from happening.

Both the Pacers and Lakers need to make moves this off-season to get where they want to get to. The Pacers need just a little bit more to inch closer to the elite class and make another run at a ring. The Lakers need to get younger but at the same time not take a step back talent-wise so that they can stay on path of remaining in championship contention in Kobe’s final productive years. This is a trade that helps both teams fill their respective areas of need and and reach their ultimate goals. This trade should be discussed immediately.

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Tags: Indiana Pacers Los Angeles Lakers Nba Playoffs

  • UncommonStats™

    “He had to be their primary perimeter scorer, guard Lebron James and bring the ball up court and set up the offense in the half court many times as well.”

    So a 39yr Nash will do a better job guarding LeBron and being the main
    perimeter scorer? FAIL on this article. Trading a young man for a 40yr Hall of Famer. Your website has hack authors.

    • Fern Rea

      Nash would be filling the Pacers’ need of a ball handler, outside shooter, shot creator and 2nd consistent perimeter scorer. In Nash doing well in all of those areas which were lacking on the Pacers team he would then relieve some of the responsibilities of Paul George.

      If you look at the trade player for player, its lobsided in the favor of the lakers, because of things like age as you stated, but, the Pacers are in a win it all phase right now so they just need a little bit more in certain areas to get over the top. Therefore, in getting Nash and only giving up George Hill to fill their needs they can get better and get over the top.

      Thanks for reading!

      • UncommonStats™

        I would 100% agree 2 years ago, I would even give up George Hill and a 2nd piece a few years ago. Tell me you saw Steve Nash play this year? I mean, I love Nash.. LOVE the guy. He’s 39 or 40 now and not his old self. I really think you’re overestimating the impact he’d have. His defence alone hurts the Pacers starting lineup. Something they identify themselves by… defence.

        • Fern Rea

          I believe the Pacer have to make a bold move like this to take this next step and sometimes it requires making a move that in the long term is bad, but can produce an immediate great result, such as a championship.

          Maybe Nash is a little too bold and risky. But, if I could get a guarantee that Nash would be healthy for at least next season and give me what he was able to provide even this season when he was healthy id make the move. Now, there are no guarantees of course and based on history of how players break down at 39-40, its probably too risky.

          I think either signing Jarrett Jack or Jose Calderon
          outright is ideal, then a sign and trade for them would be next in line, then if that fails, why not Nash?

          George Hill is a good young player, but he’s no all star. He is an undersized 2 guard, with limited playmaking skills, a questionable handle and pretty inconsistent. Good offensive player, but not great and as we saw
          against Miami, inconsistent. He also isn’t that young, he’s 27 so his ceiling isn’t as high as people think.

          The core is P.George, HIbbert and West, they can play around with the rest of the roster.

  • Tim Martindale

    This is stupid couldn’t even really read it the lakers should never have signed Nash it was stupid as hell and the pacers wouldn’t do something that dumb. The lakers need to trade gasol and convince Paul and Howard to do what wade and James did and amnesty Kobe and let him come back next year or move on I like Kobe but it is what it is

    • Fern Rea

      The Lakers signed Nash because he was an upgrade to what
      they had at the point guard position.

      The Pacers arnt giving up someone that is vital to their
      success in George Hill. Hill was inconsistent in the playoffs and when he and Lance Stevenson didn’t show up, the Pacers usually lost.

      Where does George Hill rank in terms of importance on the Pacers
      team? 5th maybe? The team is built around Paul George, Hibbert, West and Granger when he comes back next year.

      With Nash, they get a guy that will do a better job of
      securing the ball, creating shots for others and a consistent offensive
      performer. Those are all things that killed the Pacers against the Heat and allthings that Nash does well, even at 39, 40 and 41.Plus, Pacers would only have Nash for 2 years.

    • Fern Rea

      The Lakers signed Nash because he was an upgrade to what
      they had at the point guard position.

      The Pacers arnt giving up someone that is vital to their
      success in George Hill. Hill was inconsistent in the playoffs and when he and Lance Stevenson didn’t show up, the Pacers usually lost.

      Where does George Hill rank in terms of importance on the Pacers
      team? 5th maybe? The team is built around Paul George, Hibbert, West and Granger when he comes back next year.

      With Nash, they get a guy that will do a better job of
      securing the ball, creating shots for others and a consistent offensive
      performer. Those are all things that killed the Pacers against the Heat and allthings that Nash does well, even at 39, 40 and 41.Plus, Pacers would only have Nash for 2 years.

  • Bill Stowers

    Nash 5 years ago for george hill now would be a very good trade now. But hill is a very young player who is alot faster/more explosive than Nash is now. And has alot of potential to improve into a great player. Picking up nash in free agency would be a great move by the pacers as it will add veteren leadership and experience but the pacers should never trade away as bright of a player as hill for a man who will play 2 more years tops. This is coming from a die hard pacer fan and a man who also respects the lakers and its fan base completely. While the lakers have the rings they are both 2 very historic great franchises who i both hope go far next year.

    • Fern Rea

      There is a few things that the Pacers have to look at now with the immergence of Paul George.

      George will be a max guy in 2 years. Hibbert is already getting max money and David West is a FA now so he is going to get 12-15 million. Can the Pacers afford to pay all 3 guys, plus George Hill 8 mill per year?

      The Pacers might need to get some relief and Nash’s 2 years compared to Hill’s 4 years does that.

  • Mark Hall

    No. Hill still has plenty of upside, he’s only 27 years old. If this were 2005 then I’d say yes. The pacers need a bench. If you had said Chris Paul you’d have an argument. If you say Hill wasn’t a vital part to the Pacers’ success, then you didn’t watch them during the regular season. The first half of the season it was Hill and West carrying the team on a nightly basis.

    • Fern Rea

      No doubt, Hill is younger and has more upside. But what I am saying is the more important thing is winning championships right now.

      Hill will be the better player 3 years from now, but in 3 years who is to say that the Pacers will be championship contenders. Paul George might bail in free agency, Roy Hibbert might rip up his knees. The Pacers are close right now and just need a little more.

      That little more is vet leadership, ball handling and perimeter shooting. That is all stuff Nash can give them right now. Who cares what you have 4 or 5 years from now.

      • Mark Hall

        Ask New York how building to win now worked out.

        • Fern Rea

          The difference is that the NY Knicks were never this close. The Pacers are right there with just a few tweaks to take the next step. Their very solid core is Paul George, HIbbert and West, every other piece is interchangeable and can be adjusted.

          What they have in Hill is really not needed on their team but desperately needed by the Lakers.

          What they gain in Nash is what they are desperately needing as this series lost to the Miami Heat showed.

          • Mark Hall

            Nash is also a defensive liability and 40 years old. The Pacers need a bench more than a starting point guard. The Pacers’ starting unit is among the best starting units in the league. Their bench is among the absolute worst. Upgrades to the bench are what will take them to the next level. Their starting unit is fine. They need to either play Tyler or trade him. They need to ship Augistin and Green and let Young walk. I think trying to sign someone like Jarret Jack to back up Hill would make a lot more sense.

          • Fern Rea

            Lets forget Nash as I dont think either side would want this trade. It was just to illustrate how it would help both teams needs.

            The big reason why the Pacers lost this last series, especially game 7 were turnovers. George Hill while a nice player, is not a true PG. He doesn’t create shots for others and is TO prone against pressure. The Pacers averaged 16 TOs a game in the series and had 15 in the 1st half of game 7. The Pacers were 3rd in the league in turning the ball over per game & tied for last in TO per possession in the regular season. Ball handling is an issue and that starts at PG.

            A better solution would be signing a veteran in FA like a Jose Calderon if he would take the 5 million mid level that the Pacers have to offer, which is a big if since he is coming off of making 10 million. But then, you are paying George Hill 8 mill to come off the bench for 4 more years.

            Jarrett Jack would be perfect for the Pacers but he isnt taking a pay cut at 5 mill per year after is coming off a 5.6 million contract and what he showed in the postseason.

          • Mark Hall

            They’re definitely going to have to get creative with free agency and the draft. Herb Simon is terrified to go anywhere near the cap, so it’s hard telling what they’ll do.

      • Daryl Peek

        If winning a championship right now is more important how is trading Hill for Nash a fix for that? This was Hill’s first season in Indy. Granger was hurt. West is their first priority in free agency. Hill will likely have much better chemistry with the team next year. Paul George will likely continue to grow into the teams facilitator.
        Championship ascension usually takes time in chemistries conditioning. The Lakers and Heat both knocked on the door before the winning it with the same team from the previous season… Lakers; 08 loss to Celtics, 09/10 wins. Heat; 11 loss to the Mavs, 12 win over OKC and this season. Indy is already on that path.

        West and Hibbert are the veteran leaders. Frank Vogel is learning also. Nash would disrupt the offensive flow they are currently grooming with Paul George. Even though he likely is gone, Shaw had them running hybrid triangle sets that Nash wont fit.

        • Fern Rea

          Because Indiana’s weakness is taking control the ball. They were the worse at taking care of the ball in the regular season an it is what cost them the series against the Heat. George Hill can not create shots for others. Paul George was doing a lot of handling of the ball because they lacked a ball handler that could create and handle ball pressure. That is too much for George.

          Nash would be great in a triangle offense because of his superior shooting skills. He’s there when they need another ball handler and can create when necessary.

          And teams do take the next step, but by tweaking. They learn from the previous years and address their weaknesses. The tweak that the Pacers need is a veteran who can handle ball pressure, shoot and create. If not Nash, they need someone like that.

          • Daryl Peek

            I think you’re missing the point of the budding young star Paul George is about to become. Just as LeBron or Kobe don’t need a traditional PG to thrive, neither will Paul G. And most of the time championship teams aren’t tweaking for the purpose of winning, they retool when they’ve lost. Most of the year to year change is salary cap related… Ariza, Farmar, Brown, Sasha, ETC…

            We’ll have to agree to disagree on Nash and the triangle. I just don’t see him or any traditional PG working in it. We’ve had two examples of this in Gary Payton and Steve Blake. I know Payton is not the pure shooter Nash is but Blake is comperable to Nash as a spot up three point shooter. It’s no coincidence Phil never used a traditional PG in the triangle. The mentality they have as the ball control facilitator is too much to overcome. Nash with Kobe was extermely akward and even when he and Kobe weren’t on the floor together Nash had a hard time connecting with Gasol.

          • Fern Rea

            Yea I think we are a little far part in opinions about a few things.

            I think you, along with many after this series, have a much higher ceiling for Paul George than I do. I think he’s a great player, has taken a big step from last season, but I dont see him entering the Kobe,Lebron level of star in his career. I think that is really too much to ask of him. We’ll see, he just might be that good. A better mid range game and more of an aggressive mentality in big moments and he’ll be on his way.

            Blake worked well in the triangle offense with Phil. He didnt stand out because he’s not that good of player, no matter what system. He is what he is, a role player. Payton didnt fit the triangle at all. Nash however, he is basically Kerr, Paxton except a better all around shooter and ball handler. Nash woulld have been awesome in that system. Thats is why I reject the idea of the Lakers management that D’Antoni would have been a better fit because of Nash. Nash would have been great in the triangle under Phil.

            Thanks for reading and for the healthy exchange.

  • Daryl Peek

    George Hill for Nash, really? The Lakers had Hill last season in Ramon Sessions, and at a lower price. This makes no sense. You keep Nash given Kobe’s gonna be out for a while. What you do is bring in a Dorell Wright or Martell Webster, SG/SF to help at Kobe’s position while he’s out. Either of those two could slide over to SF and spell Metta there also. Nash will be needed to run the offense, he and Blake are a good team at starter and back up PG. Hill is 8 mil a season, Wright or Webster can be had for much less while serving a need at two of the Lakers weaker positions.

    • Fern Rea

      There are reservations on both sides:

      Do Pacers want to risk that Nash can never stay on the court due to his injury problems?

      Do the Lakers really want to pay someone like George Hill 8 mill a year for 4 more years?

      The Lakers need to get quicker and younger on the perimeter. Im with you on acquiring a younger athletic wing. Wright and Webster would be nice, but I dont believe either could be had for what the Lakers have to offer which is just 3 million. Wright is coming off making 4 million and Webster had some great stretches this season.

      The player I would like if he passes on his player option is Brandon Rush from GS. He wont command a lot of money cause he is coming off a season ending knee injury, making him affordable for the Lakers.

      • Daryl Peek

        Rush is a good choice. There are several other factors also. What happens with Howard? Who will be the coaching staff going forward? How will Kobe’s injury impact his performance?

        I’d really like to see the team stand pat on every current player this season and go for gusto in 2014, with all that free cap space. Unless you can finagle CP3 from Sterling, no trades.

        • Mark Hall

          We had Rush here in Indy. Super streaky. Give you 20 points one night and disappear for 3 or 4 games. He has talent if he could learn to put it together.