Grant Hill a target in Phoenix Suns GM search, Stein reports

Update (10:30 a.m.): John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 620 reports the Suns could hire Boston Celtics assistant GM Ryan McDonough as early as today.

Grant Hill is seriously in the mix to become the Phoenix Suns’ next general manager, or at least seriously considered by the team as a target. ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the search has reached two weeks long because the team hopes their former small forward takes the gig.

The possibility of Hill returning to Phoenix following his departure to the Los Angeles Clippers last summer appeared unlikely because the relationship between Hill and President of basketball operations Lon Babby was strained following the Suns’ decision to move in another direction. And though Babby is formerly Hill’s agent, he did admit that any parting in such a way would hurt any relationship.

Furthermore, Babby told the media after GM Lance Blanks was fired that it would be surprising if someone without front office experience had a shot of landing the job.

“… I can’t imagine a circumstance where first-rate talent evaluator hasn’t worked in a front office,” Babby told the media. “I suppose it’s theoretically possible.”

Stein also mentioned on Twitter that the team didn’t interview Charles Barkley, putting to rest any rumors that Shaq might’ve caused during a late-night TNT broadcast.

But for the Suns to wait around for Hill when candidates such as Ryan McDonough and Jeff Weltman were around appears concerning. If either of those two were truly willing to accept the job, why take the huge risk of hiring Hill? Sure, he has the experience as a player to make up for any eye for talent that Weltman or McDonough might have developed in the video room, but he likely has little concept of the day-to-day duties required as a team’s general manager. For Babby to be holding his hand through the process in a crucial summer for the Suns would appear more daunting than bringing in an experienced front office exec who is likely already deep into his knowledge of the upcoming NBA draft possibilities.

Then again, Hill has the chops to eventually find his way in a front office. If he can put last summer in the past, perhaps his relationship with Babby would make for a smooth enough transition.

All of this, of course, could be pointless if Hill isn’t done as a player, but all signs pointed to his retirement based on his comments throughout this past season.

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