Tracy McGrady: Will Clippers Steal Free Agent from Lakers, Celtics?
Tracy McGrady will not command the big money he has made over much of the last decade, but he remains the most recognizable and one of the most sought after names left on the free agent market.
The rumors have changed day to day regarding where McGrady will take his game in 2010-2011, with a few teams jockeying to sign the veteran at a discounted rate. The Clippers, Lakers, and Celtics have all put their hats in the ring to go after Tracy McGrady, but what team has the inside track to inking the forward?
Here is a look at where the rumors stand as of Wednesday.
The Lakers' Push
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The Lakers made the initial contact point with McGrady, expressing that they'd like to bring him as a reserve swingman.
The Lakers currently have Ron Artest and Luke Walton at the small forward position and Sasha Vujacic backing up Kobe Bryant.
McGrady would give the Lakers length and an athletic presence off the bench, but for now, it appears the Lakers have backed away some from their initial interest.
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The Celtics have been somewhat subtle with their interest in McGrady.
However, it is not such a bad fit. McGrady would fill the void left by Tony Allen though he is not nearly the defender that Allen is.
Additionally, the Celtics have been somewhat willing to take on reclamation projects, such as Nate Robinson and Jermaine O'Neal.
McGrady, like these two players, is out to show that at there is still juice left in his 31-year-old surgically repaired knees.
Los Angeles Clippers
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McGrady, who split the season between Houston and New York, while his $22 million contract expired, has most recently been linked to the Clippers.
McGrady went to Los Angeles to workout with the Clippers who seek a veteran swingman off the bench to replace the departed Travis Outlaw. Multiple reports say that the Clippers are the only team for which McGrady will work out.
Clippers general manager Neil Olshey went on record stating he has a good relationship with McGrady, and that he and point guard Baron Davis get along well.
The Clippers are hoping for the inside track, but there appears one team that McGrady wants to go to...
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The Bulls have yet to make a full overture to McGrady, but rumors indicate that Chicago is the place McGrady would most like to play.
So far the Bulls interest has been limited to internal discussions, as they figure out how to best use the rest of their remaining cap space.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls are also considering Josh Howard, Shannon Brown, and Rasual Butler.
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Chicago, the Lakers, and the Celtics all look at McGrady as the final piece to the puzzle, filling salary cap space or giving a little extra to their bench.
The Clippers, however, appear to have most pressing and imminent need for McGrady.
McGrady may be looking a contender, which those three teams obviously are, but it will be the cap space of the Clippers and the likelihood of more playing time that will ultimately land him in Los Angeles—just not on the defending champs.