Grant Hill thinks it’s pretty funny that there seems to be a law requiring announcers to say his age every time they say his name. “It’s 37-year-old Grant Hill with the three.” “Look at how Grant Hill fill the lane on the break at age 37.” “Look at Grant Hill, still able to take a swig of Gatorade at age 37.”
Well, kinda funny.
Next year, it will be funnier when they say 38-year-old Grant Hill is still playing.
He told FanHouse today that he is not going to opt out of his deal and will return to the Suns next year.
“Oh yeah,” said Hill, who is making $3 million this season and has a player option next season for $3.24 million. “I don’t plan on opting out. Even after this [contract], if I can still play and still play at this level, I still want to be here. I want to retire as a Sun. … I don’t have any interest in moving.
”I’d like to prove that I can play until I’m 40. That would be nice. But I’m not going to play if I can’t play at a level that I expect. Obviously, I’m not what I was 10 years ago. But I can still contribute and not be a liability. If I’m a liability, it’s time to move away, and I’ll move away. But, if I’ve still got it physically and I still have it up here, mentally and emotionally and I have that desire, yeah, I’ll play another two or three years.”
Hill has played long enough and with enough people to know there aren’t a lot of people feeding you passes like Steve Nash, in a system that gives you plenty of freedom. He’s having fun. That’s what this is all supposed to be about.
For the Suns, he is a good defensive player (their best wing defender) and an affordable role player. Nash isn’t going to play that many more years, Amare Stoudemire could leave this summer — there is a rebuilding process on the horizon. Hill is a good fit in the interim.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.
Stephen Curry might be back sooner than expected. It’s been one week since he suffered the sprained MCL in his right knee that led the Warriors to rule him out for at least two weeks, but head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday that there’s at least an outside chance he could play Tuesday in Game 2 of Golden State’s second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Via ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
Obviously, the smart money is on Curry not playing this early in his timetable. But the fact that it’s even on the table would seem to indicate that, barring a setback, he’ll be back for at least some of the series, which tips off Sunday.