Not many free agents in any sport elect to play in New York City because of "family reasons.''
According to a source, it looks like Grant Hill will.
Hill, the 36-year-old small forward, is leaning toward accepting an offer from the Knicks instead of the Boston Celtics or Phoenix Suns on Thursday, and a major reason is his wife Tamia, a national recording artist who would benefit greatly from him playing in New York City.
Although the Celtics would give him a much greater chance at winning a championship, they are offering considerably less money and playing time. The Suns don't have the kind of money he wants, either, but they do have the playing time and the reward of playing alongside point guard Steve Nash.
The Knicks, owned by media giant Cablevision, have been aggressively pushing the way it would help his post-basketball aspirations, a more lucrative contract now, and the way it would propel his wife's singing career.
"The Knicks aren't ready to win yet, but they have things that no one else can offer him. And that's going to mean a lot,'' said a source close to the negotiations.
The Knicks have given Hill a choice of either a one-year contract for $5 million, or a three-year deal worth $10 million. He would become their starting small forward, expected to provide leadership that could help change the culture to help attract LeBron James next summer.
The Suns, where he played the last two seasons, are offering a two-year deal worth an estimated $4 million, just slightly more than the Celtics are offering him.
With the Celtics, he would play only a reserve role behind Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, although he would be playing on the best team of his career. Hill never has played for a team that advanced past the first round of the playoffs.
Although being part of a winner with the Celtics sounds nice, winning a championship in a minor role wouldn't exactly help his legacy. Hill, remember, missed what should have been the best five years of his career while battling serious ankle problems in Orlando.
If he plays a major role with the Knicks this season and helps convince James to join him next year, it would validate his comeback. And as anyone with a good marriage can attest, keeping his wife happy would make life a lot easier.
Source: Wife Will Sway Grant Hill to Sign With Knicks originally appeared on Fanhouse NBA Blog on Thu, 09 Jul 2009 11:38:00 EDT . Please see our terms for use of feeds.