Thursday will go down as a day that shook the NBA world.
The lockout officially ended with the players and owners ratifying the new 10-year labor deal and a decent point guard with two first names made his way over to Los Angeles and then didn’t in a trade possibility that threatens to blow up Twitter.
Closer to home although not nearly as seismic, the Suns did most of their offseason shopping in one fell swoop by agreeing to terms with guards Shannon Brown and Sebastian Telfair. All that’s likely left on the Suns’ agenda is re-signing Grant Hill, and like the Western Conference in the middle of the last decade that race seems to have come down to the Suns and the Spurs, according to ESPN’s J.A. Adande.
Although the New York Post reported earlier that the Knicks were on the verge of landing Hill, Adande’s later report said the Knicks are out because they want to hoard their money in an attempt to woo Tyson Chandler.
The Spurs, meanwhile, could use a veteran small forward after using the amnesty clause to rid themselves of the final three years and $30 million of Richard Jefferson’s contract.
Adande reported that the Spurs are willing to give a second year to the 39-year-old Hill whereas the Suns won’t offer more than one year. However, The Arizona Republic reported that Phoenix is offering a sizable $5.5 million one-year salary, which is more than fair after Hill made a mere $10 million the last four years.
It would not make sense for a 40-year-old Hill to make a dent into the Suns’ 2012-13 cap space when they presumably will begin rebuilding in earnest with as much cap space as they can accrue. As is the theme with Brown and Telfair, the Suns seem to be willing to make moves to try to win with Nash this year but they will not budge when it comes to next year’s salary cap space.
It would be painful to Suns fans for Hill to go to San Antonio of all teams, but if we’ve learned anything today it’s that the NBA is a business.
As Hill told Paul Coro, he is not taking his free agent status lightly.
“Everything is compressed and rushed but this is a big decision,” Hill told Coro. “It’s probably my last decision so I’m going to make sure I think it through. Nothing’s new to report, despite what’s been reported elsewhere. I’m still trying to figure it out.
“It has not been an easy thing. I’ve got to make sure I’m comfortable with whatever decision it may be. I’m not comfortable right now.”
“Things have been overwhelming,” Hill added. “When I make a big decision, I’m very deliberate. The last week, I’ve been all over the place.”
As for the Paul trade, I don’t know what to think at this point. One minute the Lakers had secured the Western Conference All-Star team’s starting backcourt, the next minute it was off after a group of owners “protested vigorously.”
You might remember that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was incensed when the Hornets took back more money in the Marcus Thornton-Carl Landry trade last season since technically he was paying for his rival to improve with the league owning the Hornets.
“I don’t need to be competing economically with the league and myself,” Cuban said at the time.
Compared to the ramifications of a Chris Paul trade, that offense seems rather trivial, so it’s understandable why the league owners don’t want to set the Lakers up to be a dynasty for the next decade if they can improve their front court.
At the same time, this could deprive the Hornets of the best offer they are going to get for Paul. And wouldn’t this same uproar occur if CP3 was dealt to the Knicks or the Celtics or anyone really?
What a compelling saga, which promises many more twists and turns in the coming days.