The San Anotonio Spurs spent most of the week trying to trade into the middle of the NBA Lottery, and they failed. Then Thursday night, they wound up getting a lottery talent, anyway, and still kept Tony Parker, the player they'd been dangling in front of all those lottery teams. Not bad, right?
The Spurs management's gotten the benefit of the doubt for way too long, and when you add up some of the moves they've made in recent years (trading for Richard Jefferson, choosing Tiago Splitter over Luis Scola, banking on Antonio McDyess as a difference-maker, etc) the end result is a net zero at best. The Spurs may not have gotten worse, but they haven't gotten better in a long time. At some point, that's on management.
Having said that, trading for Kawhi Leonard was the best case scenario for San Antonio. Rather than giving up Tony Parker for 30 cents on the dollar, they get a player that most projected to go as high a 6 (albeit in a terrible draft), and finally get some athleticism on the wing. They had to give up George Hill to do it, but if the Spurs didn't shake things up, they be signing their own death certificate. So would you rather give up George Hill, or Tony Parker?
For San Antonio, rather than getting fleeced for Parker, they may as well take the chance that he bounces back in 2012, and go from there. It's not ideal, but it's their best shot.
As for the Pacers? Leonard's a solid prospect, but he's a lot more of a sure thing in San Antonio (surrounded by veterans, great point guard, won't have to do as much) than he would be in Indiana (young team, questionable point guard situation, Danny Granger plays the same position). So swapping him for George Hill is a huge win on their end. Now they have an up-and-coming point guard, they continue to be remade into one of the league's most underrated rosters in the league. George Hill makes them younger and more athletic, and at the same time, his point guard play will make them more coherent. All around win. For both sides. How often can you say that on draft night?