5 worst Orlando Magic starters of the Tracy McGrady era
Grant Hill (2001-03)
47 starts, 15.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 4.5 APG
Grant Hill was a very good player in an Orlando Magic uniform. That needs to be said beyond anything else. Hill was an All-Star player with the Detroit Pistons and a Hall of Famer with the ways he impacted the game with Duke, the Pistons and after his time with the Magic.
His time with the Magic was just something that kept the Magic waiting forever and ever. The whole franchise was seemingly in suspension as Hill dealt with the foot and ankle issues that limited his time with the team.
Hill played in only four games in the 2001 season, his first with the team. He followed that up by playing 14 and 29 games in the following two seasons. He did not play at all in McGrady’s final year with the team.
You can certainly argue that Hill’s absence expedited McGrady’s turn to superstardom. It seemed at that point after the Magic gave McGrady his max contract that his stardom was assured. He was certainly on that trajectory although nobody saw him reaching these heights.
But undoubtedly, Hill’s absence put a cap on what the Magic could accomplish. In these days when the salary cap was much smaller, Hill’s absence really weighed the team down. It prevented them from going out and getting quality starters to pair with McGrady and try to boost those teams.
The false start nature of many of Hill’s injuries did not help matters. He always seemed so close to returning and starting the season on time.
This was just bad luck as much as anything. Hill’s desire to return to the court likely made things worse as he nearly died of a staph infection because he was pushing so hard to return and make good on the massive contract he signed.
Hill would eventually make some good. After McGrady left, Hill played 153 games in three seasons averaging 16.8 points per game. Hill still had plenty left in the tank.
He just could not get on the floor for the Magic while McGrady was there. And that just left everyone wondering about what could have been.