Depending on his price and desire to come off the bench, Hill could be a target of the Celtics. He has a strong relationship with Doc Rivers, who wanted Hill to sign with Boston before he opted for Phoenix. Perhaps if Hill had remained healthy, Rivers’s coaching stint in Orlando would have been more successful.
“He was great, still is, he’s a friend,’’ Hill said of Rivers. “He was so supportive. It’s woulda, coulda, shoulda, we might have done some pretty good things together but it didn’t happen. I think I’m a better person going through all of that. And he’s a better coach. I think he will tell you that. It’s prepared him probably even more so what he’s doing now in Boston. It hasn’t hurt the friendship or relationship, at least I don’t think so, but it was an unfortunate set of circumstances.’’
That actually appeared in the Globe on Sunday, but we didn't want to drop a player debate ove the holiday weekend where it might get missed.
This isn't the first time we've made an argument for Grant Hill. In fact, it was almost exactly three years ago when I laid out the case for bringing him on. So, because I'm lazy, I'm just going to cut and paste this next paragraph with a few edits:
Grant Hill is hungry for a ring. Starving for one. Desperate for one. He has also made plenty of money. He's a respected guy who can still play 20+ minutes of good basketball in every game. He just finished a season with the Phoenix Suns in which he played 70 80 games, at 31.8 30.1 minutes per, and averaged 13.1 13.2 ppg. He'll be 36 39, but he was productive and pretty healthy last year. And he'll be asked to play reserve minutes… not starter minutes.
So he's coming off an even better season at 38 than he was at 36. Who knows what the new deal will bring, but the veteran minimum last season for a player with Grant's experience was $1.4 million. We can assume there will be some sort of minimum wage in the next deal and it can't be THAT far off.
I specifically excerpted the portion where Grant calls Doc a friend. That's what I'm hoping will get him to leave sunny, beautiful, warm Phoenix Arizona for a year to come to Boston. Hill fits the Ainge approach of ring-less vets on the verge of retirement who can still be productive. I'm not sure if Hill is as maniacal about his fitness as Ray Allen, but he's got to be close if he's still getting up and down the court for 30 minute a game at 38 years old. I can't even run in the back yard for 10 minutes with the dogs without needing a rub-down, ice, and a fist full of ibuprofen.
And maybe most importantly, Hill takes some pressure off Jeff Green. Hill will be another professional voice in Green's ear, helping him grow and learn. And with Hill coming in and learning the system too, he can show the kid how to help a team while still learning.
I like the idea of Grant Hill in Boston. Yes, the Celtics need to get younger, but they also need to get better, and they need to get cheap players in that can help the team. With only six guys officially under contract for next season (it will get to eight with the two draft picks… nine if we keep Jeff Green) and the Celtics already over the cap no matter what the number is next season, the C's have almost no flexibility. They're worse than Chuck, who can't even bend over to touch his knees, never mind his toes. A guy like HIll could really help give the team some good depth, as well as another teacher and great character guy.
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