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

  • Zack

    Fine with a S&T, I want both Nash and Hill to get rings and this was expected. Just please do not accept Ryan Gomes, he is terrible.

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      I actually wouldn’t hate Gomes if the Clips threw in another first.

  • Ty-Sun

    I don’t blame the Clips for offering Gomes but that should be a big “no deal”. I wasn’t sure when I mentioned this in the previous thread but I was schooled about Gomes quickly and I think that the Suns should push for a couple of draft picks at least in a S&T.

  • Bill_Thomas

    Gomes is near useless. He occasionally makes a good play when the defense is completely distracted with Paul, Griffin and Jordan.

  • Cam

    If the Suns send Hill and a Lakers second for Gomes and a Clippers first I think that would work.

    Like the article stated, he Suns could use a SF, especially after amnestying Childress, and Gomes is in the final year of his contract. The Suns can use Gomes and Warrick at the trade deadline to obtain more picks or package them with some picks to get a stud.

    This is going to give the Suns more ammo for the trade deadline and free agency. Gomes is serviceable as a backup to Beasley. Now the Suns just need to sign Lighty off of the summer squad. I think, given the chance, that kid will surprise allot of people with his play.

    Go Suns.

  • Ty-Sun

    Gomes and a 1st or a 1st and a 2nd, Michael. But I think that the Clips want to go ahead and rid themselves of Gomes’ $4 mil salary this year so Gomes and a 1st might not be too bad. After all, Gomes’ contract has only one year left on it. It might be worth letting him ride the pine for most of next year to add another 1st round pick to the Suns’ war-chest.

  • Cam

    Gomes + Warrick = cap relief for teams in the luxury tax brackets.
    Go Suns.

  • Bill_Thomas

    Lighty is a winner. His shooting is not consistent, but he does have NBA range, a mid-range jumper and potential. He looks in tip-top shape and is a good, long defender. His ex-teammate at Ohio State, Buford, is similar.

  • http://none.com Russell

    Please, Please, do not bring Gomes here. He is worse then Childress, don’t waste 4 million on scrub like Gomes, go get Courtney Lee at least.

  • http://twitter.com/auggie5000 Auggie5000

    No dead weight players! Only draft picks. Can’t afford to pay players that won’t play. Suns already have Warrick for that.

  • http://none.com Russell

    @Cam we already have cap relief. We amnestied Childress (and didn’t sign Mayo) Warrick’s 4.6 mil is off the books next year and Lopez’s 4 mil will be off the books. That’s 16 mil in cap relief:

    2012-2013 team:

    Gortat 7.2 mil
    Scola 4.1 mil
    Frye 6 mil
    Beasley 6 mil
    Dragic 7.5 mil
    Lopez 4 mil
    Dudley 4.2mil
    Marshall 1.8 mil
    Morris 2 mil
    Warrik 4.6 mil
    Telfair 1.5 mil

    +if we sign Courtney Lee on a 2 year 8 mil deal that’s 4mil per a season.

    that gives us a total of 53 million in salary for this year! We are under the cap by 5 million, and we didn’t even use our mid level exception:

    the Following year 2013 -2014: Lopez/Warrick/Telfair expired contracts:

    That leaves us with 9 players on the roster and 10.1 million expired, which leaves us with about 16 million in cap space + a mid level exception.

    Also it is very likely that who ever we sign we would have to do a sign and trade which means there will be an outgoing contract, which will open up even more cap space.

  • Ty-Sun

    But if the Suns can get the Clips to throw in a 1st round pick along with Gomes then the Suns will have both Warrick and Gomes off the books next season – freeing up $8 in cap space – AND bring in another 1st round pick. Gomes won’t help the Suns on the court but if the Clips throw in a 1st round pick to make it happen then it night be worth it NEXT year.

    I think the Suns could bring in C. Lee AND absorb Gomes contract for one year. Beasley is young and will play most of the mins a the 3 and in a pinch the Suns could still throw Warrick in at the 3 if Gomes proves to be completely worthless or Dudley could do double-duty as the 2 and 3 backup (or maybe as the 2 starter and the 3 backup).

    I certainly don’t think it’s a deal that the Suns should jump at but it’s worth exploring.

  • http://none.com Russell

    They are not giving the Suns a 1st round pick for taking Gomes. For the same reason, he will be off their books next year, clearing cap space. They gave Grant a vet minimum, and told him he will play off the bench.

    Why would they give up a 1st rounder. No point.

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      Well, it would only be if it were a Nash situation whereby Hill wanted to get paid more and the only way the Suns would be willing to take on Gomes to allow them to pay him more is by getting the pick. It wouldn’t be a first-rounder for taking Gomes, it would be for the ability to give Hill a better contract to seal the deal with him. If he is fine at $1.9 mil, obviously all that is moot.

  • Ty-Sun

    Russell, you’re talking about the Clippers and expecting them to make a move that makes sense. Yes, they did ONE good deal to bring in Chris Paul but they have a long history of screwing up so at least asking for a 1st round pick in a S&T deal for Hill is worth it when dealing with the Clips. If they say no, fine. No S&T. No harm done.

  • http://ballcruncher.com Mr. Cruncher

    With approximately $13 million in cap space, the acquisition of Gomes still leaves $9 million in cap space. Looking at NBA Draft Picks projections from RealGM, the Clippers will not have a 2nd round pick available until 2016, and that is only if the pick is in the top 55 (56-60 will transfer to New Orleans).

    In that case, the Suns and Clippers, if they are indeed working on a S&T of Hill which will involve Gomes, the Suns are likely to receive a lottery protected 1st round pick. I am all for adding to the stockpile of Suns draft picks in future years, regardless if that means the team doesn’t sign Courtney Lee or even loses Brown and Redd. Neither of those three players will help the Suns as much in the long run as will an additional asset.

    Source: http://basketball.realgm.com/nba/draft/future_drafts/detailed

  • http://none.com Russell

    I don’t understand what’s in it for the Clippers? Hill has already agreed that he will play for the vet minimum, so it’s not like he is asking for 5mil and the Clippers can’t fit him in the cap. So why give the 1st round pick away? The Gomes contract is equally as important to the Clips because it will expire and give them cap relief, so why lose a 1st rounder.

    It sounds like you guys just think the Clippers are stupid and will just give the Suns a 1st round pick for no reason. We didn’t even get a 1st round pick for Amare from the Knicks in the S&T.

    It’s very realistic, I agree they should give it a shot to see how “stupid” the clippers are but I doubt it’s a reality.

  • http://none.com Russell

    meant to type *unrealistic

  • http://none.com Russell

    However, if there is discussion for an S&T and all it involves is us getting Gomes then this FO will really piss me off. I do not want Gomes on this team wasting away. Let him waste away in LA. He is one of the worst players in the league.

  • cha cha cha

    people, relax. they’re not trading for Gomes, they’re trading for his expiring contract. that plus the 4 picks from the Lakers are decent trade chips.

  • Ty-Sun

    It depends on how much the Clippers think that Hill will add to their team and their goal of winning a championship. If they are offering a S&T deal to the Suns that tells me that Hill isn’t really ready to sign with them for the $1.9 million biannual exception that they can offer him now and he wants a little more. And that they can only offer him through a S&T deal. There is talk that the Lakers want Hill too so the Clips might overpay to just keep him from winding up on the Lakers’ roster.

  • cha cha cha

    “If they are offering a S&T deal to the Suns that tells me that Hill isn’t really ready to sign with them”

    the Clippers are looking to sign another big, so they may just want to do a 1-for-1 to keep their roster at its current size.

  • Roger

    Clippers will not give up 1st round for Uncle Hill.

    Lakers gave us cash so will this work with Clippers: Gomes + $3m cash for Hill + 2nd round (worst one in our cache). If this is doable, we’re basically selling 2nd round for $3m to pay Gomes costing us $1m net rental fee.

  • Ty-Sun

    And lets face facts. The Suns aren’t going to challenge for the NBA championship this year. If the Suns have no real chance at adding another player that increases their playoff chances this year, why not take on Gomes as an expiring contract especially if they can get another draft pick along with him. Are there REALLY any free agents left that the Suns could go after that will REALLY improve this team?

    Without adding a draft pick to the deal then I would certainly say NO to the Clips’ offer. If they are willing to add one to it then it’s at least worth considering.

  • http://ballcruncher.com Mr. Cruncher

    @Russell

    The incentive the Clippers may have is to avoid the luxury tax, which is set to $70.3 million according to NBA.com. HoopsHype.com shows the Clippers are currently at $57.4 million in salary for the upcoming season, but that does not include the salaries of Jamal Crawford, Chauncey Billups, nor whichever money Hill signs for.

    Also, the team will still need to field a full roster of 13 players, and thus far they only have one quality backup big man signed. They may want to save their bi-annual exception for such a player.

    The other incentive for the Clippers might just be to make Grant Hill happier and reward him greater.

    By the way, another possible trade scenario with the Clippers may be the Suns are able to swap 1st round picks with the team in a given year pending lottery protection.

    We’ll know soon enough if there is a sign and trade or a straight-up signing, but there are many possible scenarios where the Suns and Clippers will both benefit from a trade — of course hopefully more in the former than the latter.

  • Lloyd Cadle

    Gomes is another Childress. 20 minutes, 1 point, 0 rebounds. Looks lost.

  • http://none.com Russell

    @MR. Cruncher if the Clips are stupid enough to give us a 1st round pick. fine I’ll take Gomes, for sure, sign me up!

    However, do not add Gomes just for the sake of S&T and no picks. It is pointless, he does not add value. And he is not on our books so the expiring contract theory is pointless. Basically we are adding another Childress for no reason and then letting his contract expire? Why not just not add him? By not adding him we still have the cap relief for next year

  • joey

    yeah gomes and 1st round pick or no deal. i can’t believe we let mayo sign with dallas for so little. bad move by us. i say bring barbosa back and redd. then next year get a real starting sg. hopefully harden.

  • cha cha cha

    “Why not just not add him? By not adding him we still have the cap relief for next year”

    because the FO can’t trade cap space, but they can trade an expiring contract. it’s an asset.

  • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

    Well, in a way it can trade cap space since you can absorb a player in a trade into your cap space. So let’s say the Suns have $8 mil of cap space, they could absorb an $8 mil player just as easily as they could trade Gomes for him and absorb the other $4 mil.

  • http://ballcruncher.com Mr. Cruncher

    I highly doubt the Suns are thinking of Gomes the player as part of the trade. We might as well call it The Gomes Contract. He adds minimal player value to the team. At best case he is an emergency wing player sitting on the bench with a new pal Hakim Warrick.

    I also wouldn’t necessarily call the Clippers dumb for trading Gomes and a 1st Rd pick to the Suns for Grant Hill in a sign and trade. They maintain flexibility by executing the trade. They keep their bi-annual exception to add another quality player who wants to play for a championship contender that includes a hypothetical lineup shown below:

    PG: Paul, Bledsoe
    SG: Billups, Crawford
    SF: Butler, Hill
    PF: Griffin, Odom
    C: Jordan, ?

    The question mark is the area of need for the Clippers. Retaining the bi-annual exception, while also trying to keep total salary as low as possible to avoid luxury tax payments by shedding Gomes’ salary, sounds like a great option for their team.

    What great value does a late 1st rd draft pick for a team that is in win-now mode really have? Their goals are obvious: win now and try to ensure Chris Paul resigns with them next off season when he becomes a free agent. Adding Kenyon Martin, or someone of that ilk, this year via the bi-annual exception means a lot more than some unknown, unproven, random rookie.

    The Suns just might happen to be fortunate enough to borderline steal 3 first round draft picks and 2 second draft picks from two LA teams who are trying to win at all costs this year. The Suns will obviously not be a serious contender for at least another year or longer. Gomes means little to nothing. More future assets can mean a lot.

  • http://ballcruncher.com Mr. Cruncher

    @joey

    Do you know the contract details of Mayo’s signing with Dallas? I still haven’t seen anything on the dollar amount — only that he signed a 2 year deal with a player option in the 2nd year.

  • Ty-Sun

    I think the bottom line is that a Hill for Gomes in a one-on-one S&T deal is a no-go. If the Clips are willing to sweeten the deal with a draft pick… maybe.

  • Scott

    I don’t like this deal. But if the Suns have a plan for someone they could get with $9-10m of expiring contracts, then I guess it would make sense.

    As far as OJ Mayo goes, I’ve read that the Mavs had a $8.9m trade exception from the Odom trade that could have been used if the Grizzlies agreed to S&T Mayo. He’d have got the rumored number he was asking for and fit right in.

  • bk

    Whoever Suns gets from Clippers should be waived immediately.

  • Ty-Sun

    Forget Mayo. He signed with Dallas and that’s just the way it is. If he signed for less money than Phoenix offered him, I don’t blame the Suns’ FO. Dallas just has more potential than Phoenix does in the short term. As I’ve said before, it it were your decision would you prefer to play with Dragic, Beasley, Scola and Gortat or Collison, Marion, Nowitski and Kaman. It’s a no-brainer. Dallas has more potential than Phoenix does this year. And Cuban has a MUCH better rep for rewarding his players then Sarver has.

    Any more questions as to why Mayo signed with Dallas instead of Phoenix?

  • Matt

    I say try to get a first rounder but if you cant get a pick just take the trade. Sign lee to 1 or 2 year deals or Brown to 1 then next off season go for iggy a good all around player and ibaka if we have the cap room because the Thunder can only resign either harden or Ibaka and it will most-likely be Harden.

  • http://none.com Russell

    No don’t take the trade. I want nothing to do with Gomes on this team unless he comes with a pick, otherwise no go, no trade. let them sign Hill for teh vet minimum.

    Also how much do you guy’s think Iggy will be worth? he is not a max player. He will be 29 or 30 years old next off season. At best he will demand 10 mil per season.

    As far as Ibaka, ppl are saying he will receive a max offer. Here is my problem with offering a guy like Ibaka a max deal…he plays on a team with two superstars. If you put him on a team by himself can he carry it? Can he even be a #2? No and No. Ibaka is great on a team that has two stars like Durant and WestBrook.

    I would not offer Ibake more than 9-10 mil per season, no way do I offer him max deal starting at 14-15 mil.

    We have approximately 16 million in cap space next year maybe more if Lee contract is only one season: Lopez/Warrick/Telfair expire.

    We would have about 8 players on the roster signed for about 40 mil, that leaves us with plenty of cap space, plus the 2 draft picks + the mid level exception.

  • cha cha cha

    i think Iggy’ll get traded to someone who’ll give him an extension. he’ll try and get max money, especially now that he’s on the so-called “new dream team”.

  • Jeremy A

    The past few seasons, Ryan Gomes was among the league leaders in high fives given and attempted. He consistently averaged keeping the bench warm between 92.6-97.3 degrees. At $4 mil, Gomes is a bargain and quality asset on the bench.

  • cha cha cha

    “He consistently averaged keeping the bench warm between 92.6-97.3 degrees.”

    i haven’t seen stats like that since Paul Shirley

  • joey

    they deal had to be under 4mil because that’s all the cap space Dallas had left. unless dallas can work out a sign and trade with Memphis, mayo will be making under 4mil. that’s why i don’t understand why the suns let dallas get him for so cheap. we could have offered 6mil and easily got mayo to sign. for a guy who can score 20 any night, that would have been a very reasonable deal. i think we blew this deal bigtime. first mistake fo has made this offseason.

  • Matt

    @Russel its probably true but there is no way Ibaka is worth a max offer. Iggy would be a good pick up if we could get him cheaper. Personally i think he is a better player than Gordon and he has not had injury issues or age issues.

  • Greg

    “Gomes is a true small forward” ???

    That is a joke. The reason for his struggles are because he has played at the 3 the last couple of seasons, and statistically has been in the bottom 10 SF in the league when he plays there (John Hollinger) His only productive years were at the four, even though he is only 6’7”, stats dont lie. Some of the things written in these articles makes you scratch your head. you think they would do a little research prior to posting. He would add no depth other then hurt the team when he is on the court as a 3.

  • Mel.

    … Clips just amnestied Gomes, so there goes THAT notion.

    Now watch, as the FO pick him up for 3.4 a year for reasons which defy credulity.

  • Scott

    Ugh. Today’ summer league game sucked.

  • Ryan Weisert

    @Greg
    Gomes played all three of his seasons in Minnesota playing alongside Kevin Love. Gomes was the 3 on those teams and Love was the 4.

  • Pingback: Grant Hill’s departure leaves ‘a void that’s really tough to fill’

  • Matt

    I was looking through the trade machine on espn and I offered Frye, Bassy, Warrick for Iggy to see if the salary would work and it did. Of course the sixers would be crazy to accept this but the suns could sweeten the deal and add 1 or 2 first round picks.

  • Matt

    Dragic/Marshall
    Iggy/Lee?
    Beasley/Dudley
    Scola/Morris
    Gortat/Lopez
    or
    Dragic/Marshall
    Dudley/Lee interchanging at starter
    Iggy/Beasley i dont know if beasley is ok with not starting
    Scola/Morris
    Gortat/Lopez

  • Jeremy A

    @Matt,

    Keep dreaming bud

  • Greg

    @Ryan W

    first off, do your research, Love wasnt even in the league Gomes first year with the T-Wolves, so that is another false statement.

    yea just because he played there does not mean he was good at the position, and that does not mean he is a “true” small forward. If a guys stats are significantly better at the 4, how does that make him a 3? He is a more productive 4 being cast into being a 3. I understand he is a tweener and plays both, my argument wasnt he doesnt play SF. My arguement was is he isnt a true SF, considering his most productive play has came from the 4. I don’t have the stats/metrics on it, but John Hollinger sure does and he is very clear on saying he is a 4 that has been forced to play the 3, and he has been very unsuccessful playing the 3. My point is that he would not add depth as a true small forward, because his statistics from that position point he shouldnt even be in the league.

    Gomes played with Love for 2 seasons, his first season with the T-Wolves, Gomes played 82 games@ 29.7 MPG. Love was not on that team, and Gomes sported his best PER of his career of 15.8.

    The next two seasons Love was in town, and yes he was the 4, but only for 25 mpg and 28 mpg, respectively, primarily coming off the bench for majority of both seasons(37/81 GS, 22/60 GS), while Gomes played 30 mpg in same years and started a large majority (76/82 and 74/82)

    The point to draw from this is Gomes was on the floor anywhere from 2-5 minutes longer in each season, and Gomes played 23 more games. He started while Love came off the bench.

    Love on court forced Gomes into more minutes at the 3, and his PER declined significantly, to 12.5 and 12.1 They werent always on the floor at the same time. The only thing that kept Gomes somehwhat effective, despite being well below average, was his minutes at the 4 when him and Love werent on the court together.

    Once Gomes was out of Minny and played all of his minutes with the Clips at the 3, his PER has declined to 9 and 4.4. pathetic.

    Stats show he is not a “TRUE” SF, and your statement on Gomes playing the 3 and Love the 4 is true 2/3 years but only for certain lineups and certain minutes. Gomes started and played more minutes/games then Love, and he was a respectfully productive undersized 4, which is his true position.