Hill: Leaning Toward Orlando
Jul. 07, 2000
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ All-Star Grant Hill told the Detroit Pistons that he will sign with the Orlando Magic.
``I did talk to Grant last night, and he informed me he will not be signing back with the Detroit Pistons,'' Pistons executive Joe Dumars said Friday.
Dumars said Hill planned to announce next week that he will go to Orlando.
The Magic offered the free agent $67.5 million for six years, the most allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.
The decision came amid a heightened courtship of Hill, in which the New York Knicks flew their management team to Detroit to meet with him and the Pistons urged him to re-sign.
Dumars said he met with Hill two days after the five-time All-Star returned from house-hunting in Florida, and Hill said he will sign a contract with the Magic.
``We had a very good conversation,'' Dumars said. ``I wished him well, and we both expressed some sorriness about the situation.''
Hill became a free agent last Saturday, but cannot sign a contract until Aug. 1.
He visited Orlando with San Antonio center-forward Tim Duncan. But Hill told Dumars the Magic's offer was too good to pass up, even if Duncan does not leave the Spurs.
Hill's decision to sign with Orlando came as the bidding for his services heated up.
In an unusual move, the Knicks sent general manager Scott Layden, vice president Steve Mills, coach Jeff Van Gundy and Madison Square Garden president David Checketts to suburban Detroit to court Hill.
``The two sides met and it was a productive meeting,'' Knicks spokeswoman Lori Hamamoto told Detroit News columnist Terry Foster. ``Officials are not commenting further.''
On Tuesday, Hill said he was leaning toward signing with Orlando, but was not yet 100 percent sure.
Hill has spent his entire career with Detroit, and the Pistons reached the playoffs in four of his six seasons but never won a series. Last season, he averaged 25.8 points, third-best in the NBA.