Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 1/17/12

In the very short offseason that came before the Christmas Day NBA tipoff, the San Antonio Spurs were linked to several free agent small forwards.

The plans seemed to be in place to use the amnesty clause on Richard Jefferson and bring in a second or third tier small forward to start, with several options available at the backup position.

Caron Butler, Shane Battier, Josh Howard and Vince Carter all chose other teams, while Grant Hill, who had been rumored to be down to picking between the Spurs and Suns after turning down several other options, returned to Phoenix.

Fast forward one month, and the player who seemed to be one signing away from becoming a free agent, Richard Jefferson, is now out of the dog house in San Antonio and is averaging better numbers than every other free agent target aside from Butler.

A few of the other players have talked briefly about why they didn't choose the Spurs, from it not being the right fit, to wanting to play with a younger team.

When Phoenix came into town on Sunday, I got some time with Hill to ask about his talks with the Spurs. However, the 16-year NBA veteran described it as a blur.

"I don't know. I mean it's all a big blur," Hill said when I asked about how serious his talks with the Spurs were. "I had some talks with them but talks with other teams as well. It was all so rushed. It was all part of the process."

While the Knicks and Suns were the biggest suitors for Hill's services early on, the Knicks dropped out in order to save money to land Tyson Chandler. The Spurs then emerged when news broke that they were willing to add a second year to Hill's contract, something no other team would offer. Regardless, Hill returned to the Suns for a reported one-year, $6.5 million contract.

With Hill now in his fifth year with the Suns, while he came very close to wearing silver and black, he still sees the Spurs as a major rival.

"We've had some great matchups and respect what they've done," Hill said. "I think it's a mutual respect. It's a good game whether it's here or there, so yea, it's a good rivalry."

Hill also said he was surprised at the Spurs' level of play without all-star guard Manu Ginobili.

"I am surprised. They're playing very well. Playing very well at home," Hill said. "Of course they're well coached. They've got Tony and Tim out there Pop just puts guys in there and they get it done."

"They're still a great team playing a little different than they did in the past. We have our hands full tonight," Green said on Sunday.

They say hindsight is 20/20, and while no one knows for sure what the addition of Hill would have done to the Spurs, it's now an afterthought with Jefferson playing well and the emergence of Danny Green.

While the Spurs were unable to land a free agent forward, they had the forwards they were looking for on the roster the entire time.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

The NBA is one step closer to putting ads on jerseys

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker