Although the deal hasn’t been completed, Grant Hill intends to spend his next NBA season in Los Angeles.
But he won’t be leaving Phoenix to join the Lakers and Suns pal Steve Nash. Hill instead will become the next piece in a really solid puzzle being put together by the L.A. Clippers.
According to a league source, the Suns’ unrestricted free agent has agreed to play for the Clips, although the team still has to determine how this transaction will be constructed. Hill could come aboard via the biannual exception or through a potential sign-and-trade deal with the Suns.
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Hill, who will turn 40 years old in October, was limited to 49 games because of knee issues last season, his fifth in Phoenix. He averaged 10 points on 45 percent shooting.
In addition to stellar perimeter defense, Hill will provide even more leadership for the Clippers, who re-signed guard Chauncey Billups earlier this month and already have Chris Paul running the show at point guard. The Clips also added free-agent guard Jamal Crawford and forward Lamar Odom before agreeing to a $95 million contract extension with Blake Griffin. Griffin injured his knee during a Team USA workout the day after he re-signed, but he is expected to be ready for the start of next season.
The Suns, who had maintained a public interest in retaining Hill, now have only one legitimate wing player — Jared Dudley — under contract right now. On Monday night, free-agent shooting-guard target O.J. Mayo committed to the Dallas Mavericks; Mayo had visited the Suns last Friday, but — according to sources — was looking for a contract requiring the Suns to cough up about $8 million per season. Dallas reportedly was working with about $4 million in cap space.
Among the perimeter players still available on the open market are two who played in Phoenix last year — Shannon Brown and Michael Redd — along with Courtney Lee, who spent last year with the Rockets, and Randy Foye, who spent the past two seasons with the Clippers.