Hill generates interest, sticks with Suns

Grant Hill will return to the Phoenix Suns for $3 million next season and a player option for a second year, his agent said Friday.

Lon Babby said Hill received interest from seven teams, narrowed his choices to the Suns, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics and decided on Phoenix "largely because he feels he has unfinished business there. The Suns placed their faith in him. He didn't want to leave Phoenix on a sour note."

Hill, 36, was on a Hall of Fame track early in his career but has been derailed by injuries. He achieved a personal triumph this past season by playing in all 82 games for the first time, but the Suns failed to make the playoffs.

Even though Phoenix traded Shaquille O'Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer and Amare Stoudemire has been mentioned in trade discussions as well, Babby said, "Grant assessed the quality of the team he would be returning to in Phoenix and feels comfortable they are going to be extremely competitive, and they're excited about that."

As for whether Stoudemire will remain with the Suns, Babby said, "I wouldn't say he's been given any assurances. I think the expectation is that he would be there next year."

Hill has never advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs and was tempted by the lure of joining the 2008 champion Celtics, who have added Rasheed Wallace during the free-agent period.

Boston coach Doc Rivers and guard Ray Allen assisted general manager Danny Ainge in the recruiting process.
The Celtics had the biannual exception of $1.9 million available.

The Knicks offered more money in the short term (the mid-level exception of $5.8 million) and are coached by Mike D'Antoni, Hill's coach his first season in Phoenix.

J.A. Adande is a senior writer for ESPN.com.