05 July 2007

ESPN: Grant Hill to Sign with Phoenix Suns

Just a day after withdrawing their offer to Darko Milicic, the Orlando Magic lost another free-agent on Thursday when Grant Hill agreed to a two-year deal with the Phoenix Suns. ESPN.com has the story, as does the Orlando Sentinel.

Grant Hill is leaving the Magic for Phoenix Suns, with whom he will attempt to rock 'n' sock the West's best teams next season.

Photo by Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel

I made the case for keeping Grant Hill a month ago, and I stand by all my statements. I would have loved to see Grant in a Magic uniform for another season, at least long enough to let J.J. Redick prove himself as a starter. Alas, that won't happen, and Grant's departure leaves a huge void at the two-guard.

With Grant Hill's departure, Keith Bogans, Keyon Dooling, and J.J. Redick all figure to play more minutes at shooting guard next season.
Bogans photo by Bill Koshroun, the Associated Press; Dooling photo by Jacob Langston, the Orlando Sentinel; Redick photo by Phelan M. Ebanhack, the Associated Press

That said, I'm happy for Grant. He made the decision that was best for him, and I can't fault him for it. Not only will he play for a title contender, but he may even get the chance to start for one; the ESPN article to which I linked mentions that either Hill or Boris Diaw will get the starting nod for Mike D'Antoni's team next season. Grant's choice speaks volumes about his character. He's not content with riding someone else's coattails on the way to a title, as Mitch Richmond did with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002; he wants to contribute and to earn his money, which will be $3 million over two seasons.

I'll close with some ammunition for those of you who do not share my admiration for Grant Hill. We paid Grant $93 M over the course of his contract, which translates into approximately:
  • $455,882.35 per game, or
  • $27,844.31 per point, or
  • $14110.15 per minute.
Grant Hill may be a great basketball player, but if NBA-ers were rated in Consumer Reports, Hill would certainly not be a 'Best Buy'.

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