NBA Free Agency 2012: Why Grant Hill Should Spurn Knicks and Join LA Lakers

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 16, 2012

PHOENIX - JANUARY 05: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball under pressure from Grant Hill #33 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 5, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After much time was spent wondering whether Grant Hill would join the Los Angeles Lakers or just retire, reports are now coming in that the veteran small forward has met with the New York Knicks

Here's the lowdown from the New York Daily News' Frank Isola: 

The Knicks recently met with free agent Grant Hill in Las Vegas, sources tell the Daily News.

— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 15, 2012

Although it's fine for Hill to be investigating all of his options, he should still be thinking, "Lakers or bust!" 

Hill has reached the stage in his career where it's okay to start chasing a championship. The inevitable "ring-seeking" comments that he would be subjected to if he signed with the Lakers might as well fall on deaf ears at this point. 

After playing in the NBA since 1996 and consistently being one of the NBA's stand-up guys, Hill is allowed to do what he wants to do at the end of his NBA career. And with seven All-Star selections and numerous other accolades on his resume, he deserves to add an NBA title. 

Although the Knicks are a team on the rise, they still don't give the soon-to-be 40-year-old a chance to win a title in the immediate future. The Lakers do. 

With a two-headed—and potentially three-chinned—monster at point guard comprised of Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton, the Knicks don't have the necessary firepower to make it through the gauntlet that the Eastern Conference is becoming. 

Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler might be great players, but an addition of Grant Hill would not be enough to put them over the top. 

On the opposite side of the country, the Lakers don't need anyone to help push them over that hump. They're already there after the sign-and-trade for Steve Nash. 

In addition to putting on one of the most iconic uniforms in sports, Hill would get the chance to truly compete for a ring. 

With Metta World Peace serving as the No. 1 option at small forward for The Purple and Gold, Hill could contribute immensely to the cause. All of the injuries in the past to his ankles have preserved the health of his knees and allowed him to be far more springy than any player his age should be. 

Hill's defensive presence would also help the team mitigate the defensive damage done by Nash's presence on the roster. 

He might not be the impact player he once was, but Hill can still make a difference on a contender. 

While the Knicks are contenders, they're more contenders to advance out of the first round of the playoffs than contenders to win a title. The Lakers fall squarely into the latter category. 

Hill might notice that his fingers are conspicuously empty when he starts shaking hands with the members of these teams' front offices. 

At this point in his career, he's allowed to attempt to change that.