It was announced on Saturday that former Magic forward Grant Hill has been named one of the finalists for the 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Over his 19-year career, Hill averaged 16.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists. After six seasons in Detroit, during which he was named co-Rookie of the Year and a five-time All-Star, he joined the Magic in the summer of 2000, while recovering from a fractured ankle he suffered in the playoffs.
Despite seven years in Orlando, the Magic hardly benefited from the potential Hall of Famer, as Hill missed 374 of 574 regular season games while in Orlando because of ankle injuries. His absence created one of the great “What If?” scenarios, leaving many to wonder what might have been had a healthy Hill been able to play alongside Tracy McGrady, who blossomed into a superstar in Orlando but was unable to get the Magic past the first round of the playoffs. (Hill also confirmed earlier this week that the Magic were essentially one Doc Rivers’ decision away from adding Tim Duncan in the summer of 2000, as well) .
In 200 games with the Magic, Hill averaged 16.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He was voted an All-Star starter twice while in Orlando: his first season, during which he played just four games; and his healthiest and most productive season in 2004-2005, when he played 67 games and averaged 19.7 points per game.
After helping the Magic get back to the postseason in 2006-2007, where they were swept in the first round by the Detroit Pistons, Hill signed with the Phoenix Suns as a free agent in the summer of 2007. There he put his injuries behind him, missing just 32 games combined over five seasons in Phoenix.
The Hall of Fame will also take in account Hill’s college basketball career, during which he won two National Championships during his four years at Duke.
Joining Hill as finalists are familiar names such as Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Chris Webber, Rudy Tomjanovich and others. The Hall of Fame class of 2018 will be announced on March 31.