NBA Roundtable

Grant Hill Close To Signing With NYC

In Free Agency on December 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm

The NY Post reports

The Knicks are on the verge of landing Grant Hill, according to two NBA sources.

Hill, the Suns free agent, deliberated for the past few days between making the jump to New York or staying with the Phoenix Suns, who are in rebuilding mode.

Hill is close to accepting the big challenge of the Big Apple.

“It’s not 100 percent done, but he’s leaning,’’ one source said.

Update: David Aldridge reports via twitter

Just landed. Told unequivocally by source that Grant Hill has NOT yet decided between Suns, Knicks, Bulls and Spurs.

Quick Verdict

Good signing.

Grant Hill will make a good sixth man and quality role player.

He addresses the Knicks second biggest need – their lack of depth on the wing – but not their biggest – interior defense.

Longer Analysis

I hope New York uses Grant Hill as a sixth man instead of a starting two. I think they’d be doing both G.Hill and L.Fields a disservice if they took that starting two guard gig away from Fields.

Landry Fields is more effective the more he gets to play at the two instead of the three. Defensively, he is far superior there and actually a bit below average at SF. Also, the relative value of his rebounding is a lot higher at SG.

Meanwhile, Hill’s lack of shooting range becomes more of an issue at the two than the three. Plus he has defend quicker, smaller and more skilled perimeter (SGs much better shooters than SFs) at the two. The more they can slot him in at SF, the better.

Grant Hill will give New York great multi-position flexibility off the bench. They can use him as a three while Melo is resting. Use him as a three with Melo shifting over to the four. Go big 2 through four with Fields, Hill, Melo. Or go small in the backcourt with Billups and Douglas with Hill and Melo at forwards. Or go big across the perimeter with Billups, Hill and Melo. They could even use Hill at PF in small doses.

New York would have no problems finding 28-30 minutes a night for Grant Hill off the bench.

Ring Chaser

New York isn’t a true title contender and Hill could have gone elsewhere and had a much better chance at a ring. So I don’t think that was his motive here.

To me, it sounded more like Grant Hill was looking for somewhere for his family to settle down long term and that both he and his wife loved the idea of living in NYC. Couple that with strong team (albeit not a contender) and a coach whose system Hill has thrived in … and it was an enticing package.

Personally, I would have preferred to have seen Grant Hill go to a team that has a better chance at competing for a title. I am a small bit disappointed that this hasn’t been a larger priority for Hill both during this free agency and his previous one two years ago.

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