Grant Hill has finally decided to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns for one season at $3 million with a player option for another year at $3.24 million, according to The Arizona Republic. It seemed that the New York Knicks had a good shot at signing Hill but they fell short, along with the Boston Celtics.
For Hill, who came off of a solid season stats-wise and a stellar season health-wise (he played in all 82 games for the first time in his career), stands to benefit from the likely departure of Matt Barnes. This will give Hill, 36, less competition at the small forward spot, which will mean more than the 29:48 per game he played last season.
Don’t expect anything more than 32 minutes a night though, and remain wary of his health. It’s almost inevitable that he’ll make up for last year’s perfect attendance by reverting back to the mean and missing at least a handful of games this season. Still, expect around 12 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and a steal per game, about what Hill produced last season. He’ll remain an efficient player with high field goal and free throw percentages and low turnovers, who won’t carry your team but will be a solid utility player in most leagues.
Maybe the most interesting implication here is how much of a guarantee this is that Amar’e Stoudemire will be staying in Phoenix this year. Stoudemire was the center of loud trade speculation in June, particularly with the Golden State Warriors, who were said to have offered Andres Biedrins and their No. 7 pick (Stephen Curry) in return for the Suns’ stud center.
Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic mentions Hill’s agent, Lon Babby, and his thoughts on Stoudemire’s status:
Babby said Amaré Stoudemire’s status after June trade talks was also a “concern” for Hill, who strengthened his relationship with Stoudemire this summer.
“I think the expectation is he would be there next year,” Babby said. “There was no reason to think he wouldn’t be there next year.”
With Shaquille O’Neal gone and with all signs pointing to a successful recovery from surgery on his retina, Stoudemire seems set to boost his numbers back to 2007-08 levels (25 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks per game), assuming he actually stays with the Suns.