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NBA Rumors: Tyson Chandler Signing Would Lure Grant Hill to Knicks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2011

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 09:  Tyson Chandler #6 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after the Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat 112-103 in Game Five of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 9, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After seemingly striking out in the Chris Paul sweepstakes, it looks as though the New York Knicks are very close to signing free agent center Tyson Chandler.

Not only would the move improve the Knicks defensively, but it would also help lure veteran Grant Hill to the Big Apple.

UPDATE: It appears as though the signing of Tyson Chandler wasn't enough for the Knicks to secure Grant Hill as he has instead decided to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns for one year at $6.5 million, according to RotoWorld.com.

Howard Beck of the New York Times reports that Chandler is very close to signing a four-year, $58 million deal with the Knicks, provided they can create enough cap space. That is likely contingent upon the Knicks using the one-time amnesty clause on point guard Chauncey Billups and finding a team to take on the contract of forward Ronny Turiaf.

Both scenarios seem likely, so it may only be a matter of time before Chandler, who won the NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks last season, is a Knick.

Under head coach Mike D'Antoni, team defense has been deplorable, but Chandler is unquestionably one of the best interior defenders in the game, so he will add an entirely new dimension to the team.

Perhaps as importantly as that, however, is the notion that bringing in Chandler may also sway veteran free agent forward/guard Grant Hill toward New York as well. Hill is reportedly considering a couple teams including the Knicks and his most recent team, the Phoenix Suns, but this splashy move should tip the scales in New York's favor.

With Chandler in the fold, the Knicks would have an impressive triumvirate in Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, but complementary pieces must be added as well. Second-year shooting guard Landry Fields should continue to improve, and combo guard Toney Douglas will likely figure heavily into the point guard spot.

Still, the Knicks need the glue players that all championship teams are made up of. Hill would be exactly that, as he has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and he can also still be a major contributor to a winning team.

At this juncture of Hill's career, the prospect of winning a title is likely much more important to him than money. Because of that, I doubt he would think twice about signing a mid-level exception deal with the Knicks.

Hill could play plenty of roles, including starting at shooting guard, playing minutes at small forward in order to spell Anthony and running the point a bit as he has fantastic instincts as a passer.

Whatever the case, Hill has plenty of experience playing in D'Antoni's offense, so he would be a perfect fit.

As good of a signing as Chandler is likely to be due to his on-court impact, he may be just as important in helping to reel in Hill. While Chandler will be more obvious in the ways he helps the team, Hill will likely be just as vital in New York's push toward an ever-elusive championship.

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