Suns make pitch for free agent Grant Hill
East Valley Tribune
July 5, 2007
The Suns had their turn at selling free agent forward Grant Hill on Phoenix on Tuesday. Now comes the waiting.
Suns general manager Steve Kerr talked with Hill and his agent, Lon Babby, by telephone. Kerr was home in San Diego, while Hill was with his wife in Orlando, Fla. — where the couple is expecting a baby soon. Hill is expected to make his decision within two to three days.
“We had a good discussion, but nothing has happened,” Kerr said. “We should find out where we stand fairly soon.”
Kerr wouldn’t comment beyond that. But sources say the meeting went as well as could be expected for Phoenix, and the Suns are still very much in the mix for Hill’s services.
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Other teams such as Miami, Orlando and San Antonio can offer Hill more than the $1.2 million minimum contract the Suns will dangle. But no team figures to offer the 34-year-old Hill the full $5.5 million mid-level exception, making money a nonissue for a player just coming off a $92.8 million deal.
But sources say Hill, who has never advanced past the first round of the playoffs, wants to not only play for a winning team but play a significant role. The prospect of helping the Suns win their first title in franchise history as opposed to helping any of the last three champions get back to the victory stand (San Antonio, Miami and Detroit) could be appealing.
Hill could start for the Suns at small forward or come off the bench and help run the offense (as a big guard or point forward) when Steve Nash rests.
COPYRIGHT 2007, EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE. Used with permission. Sources indicate Hill most likely won’t remain in Orlando, despite the Magic announcing the signing of free agent Rashard Lewis on Tuesday. The Orlando Sentinel reported the five-year deal could be worth $80 million.