Hometown: Reston, Va.
Birthdate: October 5, 1972
Experience: 16 years
Draft: 1994, third overall by Detroit
2011-12 Salary: $6,500,000
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Consult our advanced stats page for a glossary and discussion of the preceding metrics.
2011-2012 Season Outlook: With the Suns’ refusal to let the Steve Nash era go, the one-year re-signing of the 39-year-old Grant Hill effectively keeps the Suns’ chemistry and locker room together. Hill returns as the second-leading scorer from the Suns’ roster of a year ago and will split time with Jared Dudley, Josh Childress and Shannon Brown on the wing.
After being tempted by the San Antonio Spurs among other teams in the offseason, Hill gives the team a playmaker to take some of the burden off an aging Nash. In addition to averaging 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last season, Hill also will continue in his role as the team’s perimeter defensive specialist.
It’s likely head coach Alvin Gentry gives his veteran leader 25-30 minutes per game, but as the second-oldest player in the league, it’s hard to imagine Hill has it in him to provide much more than his 2010-11 averages of 13.2 points per game. That was Hill’s highest scoring average since his 2005-06 season with Orlando, but it’s more a symptom of the Suns’ lack of a pure scorer than a hint that he will take on a more prominent scoring role without the help of a Jason Richardson.
Still, he’ll be asked to carry much of the scoring load on a roster that’s underwhelming in that regard, and it’s likely he puts up somewhere around 10 shots per game, as he did last year. — Kevin Zimmerman
Biography: Once billed as the NBA’s next big superstar, Grant Hill’s career has been a long, winding road. After moving from his birth place of Dallas, Texas to Reston, Va., Hill began his rise to basketball stardom at South Lakes High School. Hill continued his basketball career at Duke University, where he helped lead the Blue Devils to two national championships in four seasons. In the first (1992), most remember Christian Laettner’s last second game-winner, but it was Hill who set up the shot with a full-court pass. Hill still holds Duke records for most steals in a game (eight) and most career steals (39).
Hill was drafted third overall in the 1994 draft by the Detroit Pistons. He excelled early in Detroit, averaging 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in his rookie season to earn shared NBA Rookie of the Year honors with Jason Kidd. Hill played six total seasons in Detroit, averaging 21.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists as a Piston while being selected for five All-Star games, one All-NBA First Team and four All-NBA Second Teams. As a free agent, Hill chose (via sign-and-trade) to play for the Orlando Magic, but was limited by injuries to just 47 games in his first three seasons there and missed the entire 2003-04 season.
Hill returned to form in the 2004-05 season, averaging 19.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game on the way to his seventh All-Star selection. Hill played two more seasons in Orlando before signing with the Phoenix Suns before the 2007-08 season. In four seasons as a Sun, Hill has averaged 12.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest. After missing 12 games his first year in Phoenix he’s sat out just three the past three seasons. Hill has also won two of his three Joe Dumars trophies for sportsmanship in the NBA in Phoenix.
Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Hill: