What Team Will Bring T-Mac Back?
With the NBA free agent pool dwindling at a rapid rate, there is still a couple of names that are recognizable even to those who know very little about basketball. Nobody on the market right now is more popular than Tracy McGrady. McGrady was drafted in the 1st round as the 9th overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. In his stint with Toronto Tracy showed glimpses of greatness but was relatively coming off the bench due to the presence of his cousin Vince Carter playing the same position as him.
Right around twelve years ago McGrady was traded from the Raptors to the Orlando Magic where he was supposed to form a great duo with Grant Hill. Hill was severely injured and only played in four games that year which allowed McGrady to show what he was capable of. McGrady averaged 26.8 points per game for the Magic and won the Most Improved Player award.
For the next seven years in the league McGrady would go on to average over 20 points a game including two scoring titles; 2003 – 32.1 ppg and 2004 – 28 ppg. McGrady went on to the Rockets where he formed a scary duo with Yao Ming. McGrady played at that superstar level for the majority of his time with Houston but lingering back problems mixed with knee and shoulder issues took its toll on T-Mac’s body and affected his game. McGrady went on to become a role player, or even below that, with the Knicks, Pistons and last year with the Hawks. With Atlanta Tracy played in 52 games. He got 16 minutes a game on average and averaged a career low 5.3 points per game.
We know that McGrady is no longer the Superstar he once was in the NBA. With last year’s performance it’s even questionable if you would want Tracy deep on your bench. T-Mac could be signed for the Veterans Minimum contract though and it doesn’t make him much of a risk to bring in. So what teams would be interested in the 33 year old former Superstar?
Chicago Bulls – There have been rumors going around that the Bulls are interested in Tracy. Why wouldn’t they be? Chicago’s franchise player Derrick Rose will be out until March. The recently acquired Kirk Hinrich to take the starting spot until then. Nate Robinson is now a member of the Bulls and will be his backup. Rose’s replacements will not only have trouble filling Rose’s shoes on the court but will also have trouble drawing as many fans in to the arena as well. McGrady still has a very loyal fan base and could help them in that aspect. I think all NBA fans have an interest in seeing how much McGrady has left in him and might just attend a game for that reason alone. At the starting Shooting Guard and Small Forward spots the Bulls have two players that have struggled with injuries over the past couple of years in Richard Hamilton and Luol Deng. The Bulls have signed Marco Belinelli and Vlad Radmanovic to be backups but neither is really a special pick up and the team could still be helped with the addition of T-Mac.
Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavs need help big time at the Shooting Guard spot right now. Their starter would be rookie Dion Waiters who had a bad Summer League shooting the ball and had some nagging injuries he still has to get over. The Cavs could use T-Mac in the starting role if they were to sign him. He could also be a good mentor to the rookie Waiters and to the Cavaliers Superstar Kyrie Irving as well.
Los Angeles Lakers – Somebody has to back up Kobe. McGrady could be the one to do it. I’m sure the Lakers fans would welcome McGrady this year along with the other veterans Steve Nash, and Antwan Jamison. Playing on the same team as the very competitive Kobe Bryant would no doubt force McGrady to want to give it his all and get the most production out of him. I think McGrady would enjoy the Los Angeles life and being part of the Lakers organization.
Milwaukee Bucks – The Bucks have small guards in Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and Beno Udrih. The 6’8 T-Mac could help give the team a different look as he would come off the bench. McGrady could give the Bucks a good couple of minutes a night which could be much needed to rest their starters.
What team do you think will wind up signing Tracy McGrady? How do you think he will do next season in the NBA? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. *T-Mac is now playing in China….. more info here – S.Colon @kingofstowe