Grant Hill joined the Clippers last summer, after the one-year offer that was presented by the Suns was inferior to the two-year deal he received from Los Angeles.
That second year may not end up mattering much after all, since Hill says he’s leaning toward retiring at the conclusion of this season.
Hill, 40, joined the Clippers, began the season on the inactive list after suffering a bone bruise to his right knee, the one which underwent two arthroscopies since 2011 in Phoenix, and did not play until Jan. 12. Hill likely will not make it to that second contract year and opt to retire this summer.
“Strong chance,” Hill said. “I’m leaning toward it. I want to get to the end of the year and off-season and think about it but I’m pretty confident that’s where my mind is right now. I’ve enjoyed it.”
Except for a brief 2008 experiment under then-Suns coach Terry Porter, Hill always had started in his career until this season, when he often is not in the 10-man rotation.
The combination of health and role is likely powerful enough for Hill to make this decision, even before the year is through.
It is crazy, though, how quickly things have changed.
Hill played five seasons in Phoenix, and was not only a constant fixture in the starting lineup, but even as recently as last year, he was the team’s best defender, often drawing the assignment of guarding the opponent’s best player at all but the center position.
Hill also was an underrated finisher on the fast break, often getting out on the wing in transition while consistently making acrobatic plays at the rim appear to be routine, even at this advanced stage of his carer.
With the Suns essentially entering a full-fledged rebuild, it didn’t make sense to retain Hill beyond last season, especially once Steve Nash was dealt to the Lakers. Hill went on to say that he has no regrets in choosing to sign in Los Angeles, even though he isn’t likely to contribute much at all to the Clippers’ fortunes in what very well may be his final NBA season.