NBA Free Agent Rumors: Tracy McGrady To the Boston Celtics?

Erik LandauCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2010

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 20:  Tracy McGrady #3 of the New York Knicks gestures against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden on February 20, 2010 in New York, New York. 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 Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Reports have been swirling that Tracy McGrady has considered teams in L.A., Miami, and even Orlando where he was a scoring machine. Well, the team with the most titles all time is reportedly interested as well now that Tony Allen has vacated the Boston grounds.

Allen, who played pivotal backup minutes against Kobe Bryant in the Finals, is in final negotiations for a three-year, $9.5 million contract with the Memphis Grizzlies. The action (or lack thereof) is a head-scratcher, as Boston players such as Paul Pierce want to know what Danny Ainge is doing to keep up with the rest of the busy Eastern Conference.

The Boston Celtics were able to ink Jermaine O'Neal to a two-year deal with the uncertainty of whether Rasheed Wallace will retire this offseason. There are also still questions about the strength and durability that will be left in Kendrick Perkins’ knee.

They were also able to resign Nate Robinson in a backup role for two years and $8 million dollars. Those are decent pickups, but its's not what is going to get Boston back over the hump.

Paul Pierce took less money over the off-season to give room to sign a major player, and Ray Allen resigned for a two-year, $20 million contract.

With all these players going and staying, it makes one wonder what this crafty veteran team could look like next season.

Well, there have been reports that Matt Barnes might come in to take over the backup role that has been vacated by Tony Allen. However, these are just slight rumors at this present time.

With the confusion and angst in Paul Pierce's voice, his metaphorical throat lozenge could be none other than Tracy McGrady.

T-Mac is coming off a short stint with the New York Knicks this past season where he averaged eight points, three rebounds and three assists per game. Not gaudy numbers from a former All-NBA player, but he was still in recovery from his injuries.

Many have written McGrady off just as they have Jermaine O'Neal, which could lead some to speculate that picking up McGrady is not outside the realm of possibilities for Doc Rivers and his staff since they acquired O'Neal.

Rest assured, there is a little more life left in McGrady than there has been in O'Neal over the last three years. McGrady showed glimpses of his prowess this past season with the Knicks, and it will be a crap shoot to see where Tracy lands this offseason.

Michael Finley is most likely not going to be asked back, and McGrady could possibly be looking at a sixth-man role with the Celtics. With the tired legs of Ray Allen and Pierce, he could be an essential part of the Celtics force.

The Celtics could not acquire David Lee or any of the other premier free agents, so it comes down to a fill-in-the-holes scenario. Shaq is out there, but he is not what the Celtics need. They need a wing man to score off the bench and play stellar defense.

The lack of stellar defense could be the downfall in Boston acquiring McGrady, but odds say no. He would be an effective offensive player like Nate Robinson and could fill the wing man spot nicely. The Celtics could also go small and have a lineup of Rondo, Allen, Pierce, McGrady, and Garnett on the court which could run fluidly.

Nothing is set in stone at this time, but McGrady and the Celtics makes a lot of sense—assuming that he's willing to take a smaller monetary offer from the team.