NEW YORK (AP) — Grant Hill is staying with the Phoenix Suns.

Hill decided to remain in Phoenix on Friday, rather than join a title contender in Boston or a rebuilding team in New York.

Lon Babby, Hill’s agent, said during a conference call that the deal is for two years, the second at Hill’s option, and he will be paid $3 million in the first year. He could have earned more next season in New York, where Babby said the Knicks offered the full midlevel exception, about $5.8 million, for one year or $10 million for three.

The Celtics and Knicks both provided the chance for Hill to reunite with former coaches: Doc Rivers in Boston and Mike D’Antoni in New York. The Celtics had under $2 million to offer and couldn’t guarantee Hill a starting spot, but Babby said all three teams were willing to give Hill everything he asked for.

“I will say this. He thought long and hard about the alternatives. He did not come to this decision easily or lightly,” Babby said. “The places had a lot to offer and very different things to offer and that’s what made it challenging for us to work our way through this.”

Hill has played the last two years for the Suns and averaged 12 points in 2008-09 while playing in all 82 games for the first time in his 14-year career. Though Phoenix missed the playoffs last season, traded Shaquille O’Neal and listened to offers for Amare Stoudemire, Babby said Hill expects Stoudemire to remain in Phoenix next year.

Hill’s decision was previously reported by Yahoo Sports, which said part of his decision was based on the belief the Suns were close to an extension with Steve Nash.

“I think he’s quite confident the team that’s coming back next year is going to be a highly, highly competitive team and obviously that would include Steve Nash,” Babby said. “But you need to get those specifics from the Suns.”

The Knicks, previously turned down by Jason Kidd, hoped Hill would be intrigued by the opportunities the city could provide. His wife, Tamia, is a Grammy-nominated recording artist.

“New York offers many things, including an important platform off the court as well as on the court,” Babby said. “I think the obvious advantages of each place were given careful consideration.”

Hill is a seven-time All-Star who has averaged 18.5 points for Detroit, Orlando and Phoenix. Most of his six seasons with the Magic were ruined by injuries before the Suns signed him 2007. Babby said Hill considered the faith the Suns had in him two years ago, saying Hill, “didn’t want to leave Phoenix on a sour note.”

And the Suns strengthened their case with a late recruiting pitch after Hill had what Babby called a “very, very impressive visit” to New York. Team president Steve Kerr, owner Robert Sarver and coach Alvin Gentry then visited Hill, which Babby said might have been the deciding factor.


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