This past December, then-free agent Grant Hill was rumored to be interested in the Bulls, Knicks, Clippers, and Spurs before ultimately choosing to stay in Phoenix. At the time, Steve Nash had publicly stated that it was "very, very important" to him that the Suns retain Hill. Now that Nash's future with the franchise remains up in the air, the former Duke product could also be wearing a different uniform on opening night in October.
Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports quoted Hill before a loss in Miami on March 20: "I definitely think I can go another year, maybe two…If the season were to end right now, and I would sort of evaluate the season, I would definitely want to come back and play next season." Hill would undergo knee surgery 10 days later, and wasn't able to play much for the rest of the season after returning on April 13.
Now heading into another summer of free agency, it's safe to presume that Hill will have some question marks about his durability that may not have been there during last year's offseason. From 2008-09 to 2010-11, Hill managed to play in at least 80 games in each of those seasons and averaged roughly 30 MPG. Despite being able to play 28 MPG this season, he missed 17 games (many of them occurring late in the season while the Suns competed for the eighth seed in the West), which marks the most he's missed since being a member of the Magic in 2006-07.
This year, Hill averaged 10.2 PPG while shooting 44.6% from the field and 76.1% from the free throw line. Although those numbers rank among the lowest statistical averages he's produced over his 17-year career, that type of contribution could still be valuable on a playoff team looking to add depth and veteran leadership. Should he decide to play next year, I don't expect Hill to be playing nearly the same amount of minutes as he did with the Suns.
At this point, I'm not so sure he'd be able to garner a contract for more than the veteran's minimum. Hill turns 40-years-old in October, so his chances of receiving a multi-year deal are very slim. With that being said, I could see him being linked to wherever Steve Nash's name comes up this summer. Their friendship was a major reason why Hill stayed in Phoenix, and after playing five consecutive years together, the opportunity for both to compete together as teammates on a contending team will be an intriguing option to consider moving forward, especially if it will be Hill's last season as a pro.