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OutletPass
09-10-2003, 12:18 PM
McGrady better off without Hill
By Terry Brown
NBA Insider
Wednesday, August 13


Grant Hill wants to play this season even at the risk of possibly never playing again. Depending on who you ask in the Orlando Magic organization, they want Hill to sit out this season in the hope that he can return next year with a stronger ankle that has already been cut open by a doctor four times since joining the franchise in 2000.


But did anyone bother to ask Tracy McGrady?

"Three years ago, we were all in love with Vince Carter," said one NBA scout. "We had no idea that Tracy McGrady could score 30 points a game. So in that respect, he has become a better player without Grant Hill on the floor. He handles the ball better. He's better at getting off his shot. But is he a better passer? Is he a better rebounder? Is he a better defender? But would we even care if he wasn't scoring 30 points a game in the first place?"

During Monday's press conference, the media asked Hill if he would return. If he could return. If the six-time all-star who once scored 25.8 points per game while also tallying 6.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.4 steals on 49 percent shooting during his last and best season in Detroit would ever justify the $93 million contract the Magic gave to him three years ago. But no one mentioned the fact that in those last three years, McGrady, also signed in the same off season for that same $93 million, has averaged 28.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game on 45.5 percent shooting.

Tracy McGrady
Shooting Guard
Orlando Magic
Profile


2002-2003 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
75 32.1 6.5 5.5 .457 .793


"A lot of the focus is on Grant Hill right now," said the scout. "But without a doubt, the fortunes of the Orlando team are squarely on the shoulders of McGrady. And every year that monkey on his back is going to get heavier and heavier until he at least gets out of the first round. But that doesn't change the fact that Tracy McGrady is now one of the elite players in the NBA and I'm talking one of the four or five players who will challenge for the MVP award year in and year out." But no one has mentioned the fact that in those same three years, McGrady has scored 6,420 points to the combined total of 5,149, which is how many points Carter AND Hill have scored in that same amount of time. We might need reminding that back in 2000, when Hill was averaging 25.8 points per game, Carter was averaging 25.7 while McGrady was scoring only 15.7. But one year later, McGrady was averaging 26.8 points per game, then, last season, a league-leading 32.1 points per game.

"McGrady is who he is now," continued the scout. "And that definitely is not the same player that the Magic signed to play alongside Grant Hill. He's a monster now. It's his team. Of course the wear and tear on his body will take its toll. Of course his back is going to hurt year after year. But that's just the way it is when you're just that good. And when you're that good, the team revolves around you, not the other way around. So as sad as it is to say, the Orlando Magic may very well be better without Grant Hill." Last year, the Orlando Magic had a payroll of $50 million, $12 million of which went to Hill, meaning that nearly a quarter, or 24 percent, of their entire team's payroll went to a player who contributed only 5 percent of the team's total points. Meanwhile, McGrady, who also made $12 million, contributed 29 percent of the team's total points. Perhaps the more pertinent question we should be asking Hill and the Magic are: Can Orlando re-apply for the medical exception this year? When can Orlando apply for the medical exception next year? Do the Magic need to re-apply the following season if granted the previous season?

The point is, McGrady's going to get better. Hill is not. In his first six years as an NBA player, Hill averaged 1,566 points per season. In his last three, he has averaged 237.

Grant Hill
Small Forward
Orlando Magic
Profile


2002-2003 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
29 14.5 7.1 4.2 .492 .819


By comparison, Rick Fox of the Lakers, Bruce Bowen of the Spurs and George Lynch of the Hornets scored just as many total points and grabbed just as many total rebounds as Hill last year without taking up anywhere near that amount of cap space. In fact, those three combined for a yearly salary of only $10.4 million. "There is some learning that Tracy could have gotten had he been able to play with Grant Hill and watched him during the playoffs and heard him in the locker room after playing on the same court," said the scout. "But that's in the past now. Grant Hill is not who Grant Hill used to be. And Tracy Mcgrady is. In fact, Tracy McGrady is arguably already better than Grant Hill ever was." The fact also is that as good as McGrady has gotten, his team has not. In his first year of superstardom, the Magic won 43 games in 2001. A year later, they won 44. A year after that, last season, they won only 42.

"I'm sure it's nice for Magic fans to think how good their team could have been if both players had been able to perform up to their potential," concluded the scout. "But the reality is that they now have one player who could very well be the best in the league and another one who is now keeping them from becoming the team they could be."

Rod1975
09-11-2003, 06:10 AM
Grant Hill has the greatest gig in all of professional sports.....

Nicky31
09-11-2003, 12:49 PM
You ain't just whistling dixie Rod.

MFFL
09-11-2003, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by: Rod1975
Grant Hill has the greatest gig in all of professional sports.....

I'm sure that he would prefer to play ball rather than going through constant rehab