The 10 worst free agent signings in Orlando Magic history
10. Grant Hill
7 years, $ 93 million in 2000
In a vacuum, Grant Hill should be much further on this list. He came over to Orlando in a lucrative sign-and-trade at the turn of the century, only to have injuries sabotage his career.
In Hill’s first six seasons — spent with the Detroit Pistons — Hill had more than 9,300 points, 3,400 rebounds and 2,700 assists to his name. At the time, only Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird had done that in their first half-dozen seasons (LeBron James has since done it as well).
In August 2000, Hill agreed to a sign-and-trade that would see him make $93 million over seven years. Paired with recent signing Tracy McGrady, Orlando was ready for its superstar combo to lead the way and mitigate the loss in the trade of Ben Wallace (whoops).
Unfortunately, the defining moment of Hill’s tenure with the Magic came before he was even a member of the team. A week before the playoffs during his last year with the Pistons, Hill suffered an ankle sprain, which worsened when Hill tried to play through it during the postseason.
That injury kept reappearing in different ways throughout Hill’s time in Orlando. Here is how many games Hill played in each of his first four seasons: 4, 14, 29, 0. He played in fewer than 30 games in five of his seven seasons with the team.
Hill played well when he was able to take the floor, averaging 16.4 points per game on a 50.2-percent effective field goal percentage. But it just was not often enough. The Magic only made the playoffs once during Hill’s time in Orlando — his last season with the team with Tracy McGrady having already departed and Dwight Howard beginning his ascendance in his second season with the team.
He may have twisted the knife a bit after his Orlando Magic stint, joining the Phoenix Suns and playing in at least 70 games in four of his five seasons and 80 games in three of them. Marks never achieved in Orlando.
Fans still feel a bit sour about this thinking Hill should have given the team a discount and stayed with the team. The fact is the Magic were just as ready to move on from Hill as Hill was ready to depart.
It is hard to blame a player who was so snakebitten by injury about the negative impact of his contract, though.