Breaking Down the Best Potential Landing Spot for Former Superstar Tracy McGrady
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the 33-year-old could add some intriguing suitors to his list of potential destinations:
Still searching for an NBA franchise willing to guarantee a contract for next season, seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady worked out for the San Antonio Spurs this week at the team's practice facility, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Next up for McGrady on Thursday is a workout for the New York Knicks, league sources said.
Of course, the workouts are hardly signs that T-Mac is in high demand. He's yet to generate anything remotely resembling a bidding war for his services, and there's little doubt most teams are waiting to see what he can offer after the Atlanta Hawks used him so sparingly last season.
Nevertheless, the workouts are a good sign for McGrady and suggest that he just might be playing for a title this season instead of mentoring Charlotte's rookie small forward, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
He'd do a fine job providing some veteran leadership for a rebuilding squad, but there's little doubt he has enough left in the tank to make contributions to one that's still in the hunt. That would make either San Antonio or New York better fits.
Which one makes the most sense?
That's a bit harder to discern, and chances are McGrady won't have much choice in the matter. He'll take what he can get at this point.
In New York, he'd give head coach Mike Woodson a legitimate backup for Carmelo Anthony and make it easier for him to play Anthony at power forward for sustained stretches. With Ronnie Brewer likely to spend most of his time at shooting guard, having another long body on the wing would help solidify a rotation that's already looking deeper than it did last season.
McGrady's passing ability would be especially valuable for the Knicks.
With scorers like Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith getting heavy minutes, Woodson would have another guy who could get them the ball and create opportunities. Point guards Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd will obviously do their parts as well, but since when can you have too many playmakers?
It's that same unselfishness that would make McGrady such an asset for the Spurs.
With shooters Patty Mills and Gary Neal backing up Tony Parker, the only real facilitator on San Antonio's bench is shooting guard Manu Ginobili. Though he's a fine distributor in his own right, he's still a lethal scorer who has to look for his own shot from time to time.
McGrady would take some of the pressure off Manu, and he'd also get him the ball. Ginobili plays off the ball pretty well, coming off screens and spotting up on the wing—he just needs someone to make the pass.
T-Mac's role as a point forward makes him the perfect candidate.
He'd also make it easier for the Spurs to play small ball. The 6'8" McGrady has good length, plays sound defense and still rebounds well. When the Spurs look to spread the floor with guards and swingmen occupying four spots, those are the kind of qualities those players should have.
The only concern about a stint with the Spurs is where the minutes will come from. San Antonio has a lot of guys who can play the 2 and/or 3 positions: Ginobili, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal.
Unless the organization is planning on making some additional moves, adding McGrady would make for an even more crowded rotation.
Popovich could certainly make it work. By continuing to give Neal some minutes at the point and playing without a big man or two for stretches, the glut of wing players could all get their chances.
It's just hard to imagine the Spurs valuing McGrady more than a team like the Knicks, a team that is one more bench player away from having arguably the deepest second unit in the league (rivaled by the Spurs, among a handful of other clubs).
In other words, T-Mac's skill set makes San Antonio a perfect fit—assuming it actually has room for him. If not, the Knicks almost certainly will.
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