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Hill Might Sit Out Season

June 20, 2003|From Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic has contacted the NBA seeking the medical salary-cap exception for Grant Hill, meaning the injured former All-Star might not play next season.

Hill has been hobbled by a bad left ankle since he broke it during the 2000 playoffs while he was with the Detroit Pistons.

He has had numerous operations on the ankle and has played in only 47 games for Orlando since signing a $93-million, seven-year contract in August 2000.

Magic General Manager John Gabriel said Thursday the team had contacted the league seeking the salary-cap exception, but he wouldn't comment further.

Gabriel told the Orlando Sentinel that it was "likely" Hill will miss the season. Hill's agent, Lon Babby, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The Magic has until Oct. 1 to apply for the medical exception, worth $4.8 million, but it wants to have the money available for this summer's free-agent recruiting period, which begins July 1.

The Magic did not apply for the medical exception previously because it believed Hill might make a successful comeback each season.

The maximum salary for the replacement player is 50% of the injured player's salary, or 108% of the league average salary for the previous season, whichever is less.

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