Kawhi Leonard has become one of the NBA's best players but Gregg Popovich maintains the San Antonio Spurs' trade of George Hill to the Indiana Pacers for Leonard benefitted both teams.

The Pacers traded Hill to the Utah Jazz this offseason after he helped them reach two Eastern Conference Finals.

"Yeah, that was tough [to trade Hill]," Popovich said. "I always made the joke with you guys that he was my favorite player. Then I called my favorite player and told him he wasn't here anymore. So that was real tough. But those kinds of trades are the best because it worked out for both teams. It was what Indiana needed, and it was what we needed, and it worked out. A lot of trades, one team will say, 'Oh, we killed them on that trade. We got the better end of that.' That's just childish. It was a good trade for both teams."

The Jazz value Hill's veteran presence.

"You probably can't value it enough, just having a guy who when he has the ball kind of calms everybody," Quin Snyder said of Hill. "He knows what to say and what to do. I know for me it's terrific to have somebody you can communicate with on the floor and who can relay [the message]."