Lakers Rumors: Grant Hill Will Be Final Piece of Puzzle After Steve Nash Deal
First, they pulled off the ultimate coup with a deal that would bring Steve Nash to L.A. in an out-of-nowhere sign-and-trade with Phoenix.
Now, to complete the puzzle, all the Lakers need is Grant Hill. And in his first mission as a member of the Lakers, Nash is on it, according to ESPN.com senior writer Marc Stein:
Sources told ESPN.com that Nash will try to convince longtime teammate Grant Hill, one of his closest friends in the game, to join him with the Lakers.
ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher reported over the weekend the Lakers were one of four teams (along with Toronto, New York and Phoenix) in the running for Hill after the 39-year-old's recent trip to Germany to undergo the same platelet-enrichment treatment on his knee that [Kobe] Bryant credited for his rejuvenated knee last season.
Hill may be 39 years old, but after undergoing the "Kobe procedure," he still has enough left in the tank to help the Lakers compete for another NBA title. According to SI.com, the procedure will help Hill avoid the knee injuries that sidetracked his 2011-12 season by reintroducing platelets responsible for the body's natural ability to heal into the affected area.
Suddenly, the Lakers—who, just one week ago, seemed to be one of this offseason's ultimate failures after failing to get into the top 10 of this year's NBA draft—are right back in the running. Instead of going young, they're going the old-and-wise route, and after acquiring Nash, Hill will be the perfect complement.
Hill has spent the last five seasons in Phoenix with Nash, where he's averaged 12.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 30.1 minutes per game. Last season, despite being hampered by injuries, he still managed to log 28.1 minutes per game, and post-surgery, he can be even more effective for the Lakers off the bench.
In Hill, the Lakers aren't necessarily looking for someone to light up the scoreboard—they're looking for a playoff-experienced, veteran presence to give this team a boost off the bench without spending a ton of money.
Hill, in return, gets an opportunity to chase one last championship with one of his best friends in the game—and with a team that is now looking more and more like the NBA's most exciting team in 2012-13.
If Hill is going to play anywhere next season, it makes sense that he'd do it with his favorite teammate in a place he can realistically win another ring. And for the Lakers, it's not every day you can acquire a two-time league MVP and follow it up with the acquisition of a future Hall of Famer. It's a win-win for both sides.
When all is said and done this offseason, the Lakers might have one of the most playoff-experienced, veteran teams in the league, and Hill will be the icing on the cake.
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