Bulls Rumors: Signing Tracy McGrady Would Prove Bulls' Championship Intent

Stephen BabbFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 08:  Tracy McGrady #1 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after a three-point basket against the Indiana Pacers at Philips Arena on February 8, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It's not entirely clear where the Chicago Bulls' pursuit of Tracy McGrady stands. 

The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson initially reported that he may be the final piece to the organization's offseason plans:

After Nate Robinson signing, Bulls are either done or might add Tracy McGrady.

— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 31, 2012

On the other hand, HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy suggests that no deal is imminent:

Tracy McGrady and the Chicago Bulls have flirted in the past, but it doesn't sound like a deal is close.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 31, 2012

Make what you will of those assessments, but the safe bet appears to be that there's at least an outside chance the Bulls will make one final addition to their bench after signing shoot-first point guard Nate Robinson to provide a spark.

There are reasons to like the idea of adding TMac, and there are reasons to not really care.

At the very least, he'd give the second unit a playmaker who can help distribute the ball from the forward position. Given that Robinson isn't much of a passer and newly-acquired Kirk Hinrich does some of his best work off the ball, McGrady might be a good fit.

He's no LeBron James at this point in his career, but his length and now-deferential instincts put him in position to set his teammates up.

On the other hand, McGrady's best days are far behind him, and he was only of limited use last season with the Atlanta Hawks.

If the Bulls miss out on this one, don't shed any tears.

The bigger takeaway from these revelations is that the Bulls are even thinking about another veteran addition. Earlier this summer, it began to look as though Chicago was giving up on this season and looking ahead to years when former MVP Derrick Rose would once again be leading the way for the duration of a season.

Instead, he'll spend much of the 2012-13 campaign recovering from knee surgery.

As it turns out, though, we can't read too much into the club's decisions to trade Kyle Korver and let free agents Omer Asik and Ronnie Brewer walk. Sure, the second unit's famed defense will suffer a bit, but head coach Tom Thibodeau is a master of making just about anyone look competent on the defensive end.

Though general manager Gar Forman has taken a frugal approach to rebuilding the roster's margins, he's still making the kind of quality moves that could return this team to title contention once Rose is up and running again.

That's a good sign for Bulls fans looking to avoid a lost year.

It's a bad sign for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and any other Eastern Conference heavyweight who thought they might have one less foe to worry about.