Grant Hill agrees to deal with Los Angeles Clippers


The Suns say goodbye to Grant Hill, who has agreed to a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Suns say goodbye to Grant Hill, who has agreed to a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The sun has set on Grant Hill’s time in Phoenix. ESPNLA’s Ramona Shelburne has reported that Hill and the Los Angeles Clippers have agreed to a two-year deal. The salary terms of the contract are not yet known.

The Clippers are attempting to work out a sign-and-trade with the Suns that would allow Los Angeles to pay Hill more than the $1.9 million biannual exception they have available. That deal would reportedly bring small forward Ryan Gomes to Phoenix. If the Clippers and Suns cannot work out a trade then Hill will sign for the biannual exception amount.

Although the Suns front office had not expressed a great deal of interest in bringing Hill back next season, his departure leaves the Suns’ cupboard even more bare at the wing spots. As Michael Schwartz wrote yesterday, the Suns have only one true wing on the roster in Jared Dudley. Because of the log jam at power forward, new addition Michael Beasley will play mostly at small forward, but that only raises the total to two. Making matters worse, the free agent shelves are getting sparse as well now that O.J. Mayo has signed a multi-year deal in Dallas. The Suns will most likely move forward by pursuing Courtney Lee or reaching a one-year deal with Shannon Brown.

Acquiring Gomes via sign-and-trade could help fill the shortage of wings as well. Gomes is a true small forward. Though he averaged only 2.3 points and 13.3 minutes per game last season, he did have some productive years as a starter in Minnesota and is still only 29 years old. While he is by no means a starting-caliber player right now, he would provide depth for Suns, something they will definitely need in the upcoming season.

As for Hill, who will turn 40 at the beginning of the season, his five years in Phoenix will be remembered fondly by media, fans, and teammates alike. Hill experienced a career renaissance with the Suns. Before his arrival in the desert, injuries that had cost him hundreds of games in his prime were Hill’s legacy. With the help of the Suns’ legendary training staff, however, he played all 82 games for the first time in his career during the 2008-09 season.

Though he lacked the athleticism that made him a superstar in his youth, Grant reinvented himself as Phoenix’s defensive stopper in recent years. The 39-year old went toe-to-toe with some of the best scorers in the league last season and won more battles than he lost. Even when injuries forced him to the sideline during the Suns’ star-crossed playoff push, Hill still provided veteran leadership and enthusiasm to a team desperately in need of both. The Suns have shaken up their roster in an effort to start anew next season, but Hill will still be missed.

It was widely speculated by many after Steve Nash’s departure that Hill would follow his friend to the Lakers. Those people got the city and the arena right, just not the jersey colors. Suns fans will no doubt rejoice in not having to see another of their favorite players donning the purple and gold.

Tags: Free Agency Grant Hill Los Angeles Clippers Phoenix Suns

  • Ryan Weisert

    @Greg
    I can admit when I’m wrong. As always, one should always consult John Hollinger before writing anything. And I don’t just mean basketball. Got a term paper on the History of Women’s suffrage? Consult Hollinger. Writing your marriage vows? Get at Hollinger on Twitter.
    What I love about VotS is that we have the most well-informed readers. I appreciate you keeping me on my toes.
    I’ve only ever seen Gomes play at the 3 spot, mostly because I wasn’t watching the Timberwolves from ’07-’09. I never really thought of him as a 4 because he doesn’t play inside, but now I know that’s because of the position he was asked to play and not his own preference or ability. I know this conversation is moot since he’s been amnestied, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
    I hope this isn’t what happens to Beasley since his natural position seems to be the 4 spot, but he’ll more than likely be asked to play at the 3.

  • Greg

    I sense the sarcasm about me using Hollinger as a source…His stats are legititmate and he knows what he is talking about. I didn’t need Hollinger, it was pretty obvious pointing your false statements just by glancing at his statistics and it was even easier to prove that they didnt play all 3 years together due to fact Love was playing at UCLA. But, its fun to debate and talk basketball, thats why I love this site, you guys do a great job.

    Now that we can kiss and make up haha, I am very concerned that Beasley will not reach his full potential at the 3, and I would prefer him to play where statistics prove he is better. However, Beasley is a scorer and I see him doing that from either spot, but his defense will suffer. I don’t think the Suns are too concerned with his defense though, they have brought him in to score big points, and if he can approach near 20 ppg (which he has proven he can do) then I do not care which spot it comes from. His athleticism is significantly higher then a guy like Gomes, and though playing out of position, Beasley does have talent/potential/age on his hands that give us hope he can adjust to play the 3 equally as effective.

  • Ryan Weisert

    I agree about Beas. The issue is that playing him at the 3 will put him in position to shoot more jumpers. Beasley is better when his attempts at the rim are higher. He has a tendency to fall in love with his jumper which he doesn’t hit more than 40-42% of the time according to hoopdata. If he’s going to play the 3, I’d like to see him play more as a slasher than a shooter.
    PS I wasn’t being sarcastic about Hollinger.

  • Greg

    Oh haha you love him as much me then (Hollinger).

    Keep in mind though, 42% on his jumper (from 3-9) really isnt too bad for SF, it would be tied for 8th with Danny Granger. So, comparatively he pretty decent from 3 to 9 feet.

    From 10-15 feet is a different story, he is 26th out of SF. With Scola and Gortat being two players that shot a combined 16+ shots from at the rim/3-9 feet areas, it may force Beasley outside more. However, Scola ventures out to the 10-15 range and so does Gortat, so I feel all 3 players will offer versatility and they will all have a variety of attempts from all 3 areas on the floor. Beasley will have his chances inside I believe, not as many if Scola wasn’t in the picture. but Scola helps the Suns so it is ok. Slasher would be the my preferred role for him also

  • Greg

    Oh wow, from 16-23 feet, which I didnt even look at, Beasley is 5th out of all SF with 2+ attempts from 16-23 feet (7th but Pietrus and Battier rarely shot from there). Dudley at 49% is significantly better then Durant’s 46% and then Beasley few spots down at 42%.

    So i guess I am retracting my statement of not wanting Beasley to shoot, we just dont want him shooting from 10-15. From 3, Beasley was tied for 10th in 3pt%, better then some notable players (Pierce, Lebron, Carmelo)

    If Beasley goes inside or shoots from beyond 16 feet, he will be a stud. Let Scola and Gortat handle the short mid-range game, and Beasley can live on the perimeter/slash inside for dunks and finishes at the rim.

    The more I look at the stats, the more pleased I am with his potential