NBA Daily Dribbles: Extended Stay in New York for Tracy McGrady?
What I’m Reading
• So much for the Clippers being a realistic option for LeBron in 2010-2011.
• Drew Gooden is quickly becoming Joe Smith. This is not a good thing for Drew Gooden.
What I Think About It
"If he's healthy," McGrady’s former coach Jeff Van Gundy said Saturday,"Believe me; if Tracy is healthy over the last 29 games, you can put him in the conversation with the rest of the top free agents in 2010. That's how good he is."
Bold statement. But let’s face it; Van Gundy’s a bold guy.
But is there some truth to Van Gundy’s comments? Believe it or not, there might be.
In his initial game with the Knicks, McGrady dropped 26 points on 10 of 17 shooting against the Thunder in 32 minutes. In all likelihood, he was probably showing off in his debut. But there has to be some validity to McGrady’s line on Saturday.
The Knicks might not want him to play that good for the rest of the season, however.
If they know he still has the ability to be an elite member of the league, they’d obviously like to keep him. But if he’s looking for max money, they can’t. It interferes with their pursuit of LeBron.
Ideal situation: Tracy performs well yet under the radar, and they are able to resign him. Then LeBron sees this and signs with the Knicks. Left out of the situation? David Lee.
I’m sure Jazz management would defend their trade deadline action by claiming that they had a gut feeling that Ronnie Brewer had it coming and was bound to Memphis-Grizzlies-Examiner~y2010m2d21-Grizzlies-Brewer-to-miss-several-weeks-with-injury">injure himself.
But that, of course, is ludicrous.
And Deron Williams has a right to be upset.
"I think if we'd make a trade it would be something a little different than that," Williams said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. "You look at all the teams that are getting better around the West and we essentially get worse, if you ask me."
Well, yeah. Brewer wasn’t outstanding, but if you take away a starter who averaged 9.5 points a game and don’t get anything in return except for a draft pick, your team is going to get worse. Simple.
Williams will be entering the second to last year of his deal next season. I wouldn’t expect him to want to stick around Utah much longer if they continue to impede his chances of winning a title.
His escalating contract does include a player option for 2012-2013 for near $18 million, but he’s likely going to test the market.
Alright, I wouldn’t be so quick to write off any of these teams. The assumption that James would be reluctant to play second fiddle to Kobe in L.A. is a bit shortsighted.
He’d always technically take a backseat to Bryant, but it would be like playing second chair to Kobe’s first in the London Symphony Orchestra. In the grand scheme of things, he’s basically just as good and will get nearly the same amount of attention.
If he went to L.A., he’d create a buzz that the city has never seen before. He’d be in the spotlight, and the rivalry between LeBron and Kobe would vault to astronomical proportions. Writing about the mere speculation of this is getting me excited already.
Getting to hang out with Jay-Z on a regular basis is an extremely underrated draw, in my opinion. If I had the option to do so, I would jump at it immediately.
And LeBron and Wade teaming up still can’t be ruled, either. They’d love to get together, sign long-term max deals, and have a solid five years to take a stab at a championship.
For a team that has detailed itself as a big-man, defense-first organization over the years, it’s tough to grasp the current situation of the Pistons not having a viable low-post player. But it’s true.
Kwame Brown, Charlie Villanueva, Chris Wilcox, Jason Maxiell, Jonas Jerebko, and the Afro-Formerly-Known-as-Ben Wallace aren’t going to cut it.
And they didn’t do anything at the deadline to get bigger, stronger, or even meaner.
They’re going to be re-tooling over the summer. They might be looking to move franchise players Tayshaun Price and Rip Hamilton, as well, as they reconstruct what was once a solid franchise.
Joe Dumars is due for another blockbuster trade. Expect it to come before the start of next season—potentially even before the draft.
Eight seasons. Eight teams.
How did this happen to Drew Gooden?
The NBA’s developing journey man has certifiably transformed himself from promising young talent to solid role player to annual trade bait.
Where will he end up next season? Possibly Minnesota? He hasn’t explored the northern half of the States much yet. It might be a nice change for him.
Go for it, Drew.
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