Grant Hill nearly returned to Pistons during Eastern Conference reign


Grant Hill laid the foundation of his Hall of Fame career in Detroit. And he nearly put the finishing touches on it here when the Pistons were competing for championships a decade later.

"I almost came back in 2007," Hill said in a recent interview with The Undefeated after refurbishing a pair of basketball courts in Detroit's Chandler Park through a partnership with FILA.

At the time, the Pistons were in the midst of six straight trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. Hill was a 34-year-old free agent coming off his final season with the Magic, who had just been swept by Detroit in the first round of the 2007 playoffs. Hill said he talked with then-Pistons GM Joe Dumars, then-head coach Flip Saunders as well as veterans Chauncey Billups and Lindsey Hunter "and Detroit wanted to pay me and everything."

"They were gonna bring me back and it came between Phoenix and Detroit," said Hill.

In the end, Hill said he "took less money to go to Phoenix" on a two-year, $3.8 million deal because "I didn’t want to come back to (Detroit as) a shell of myself."

Hill was a five-time All-Star who averaged 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists in his six seasons with the Pistons. He was traded to the Magic in the summer of 2000 in the deal that brought Ben Wallace to Detroit and fell to 16.4/5.0/3.1 in six injury-marred seasons in Orlando. He sunk to 14.4/3.6/2.1 in his final season before free agency.

"I wanted to st