Multiple reports confirm that Tracy McGrady is a member of the Detroit Pistons; the deal is worth $1.35 million.
McGrady played with the Rockets and Knicks last season for just 30 games, in which he averaged eight points, and three assists per game. After coming off a serious knee injury, subpar stats were expected for McGrady.
McGrady looked like he was going to sign with the Chicago Bulls.
He even said that with him and Boozer, the Bulls could be one of the East’s powers; however, talks with Chicago fizzled opening the door for division rival Detroit Pistons.
Bulls general manager John Paxson said that McGrady had a good workout, and that he may have turned the corner physically, but he didn’t fit with the team.
The Bulls are looking to push the ball and play up tempo with point guard Derrick Rose.
McGrady doesn’t have the legs or conditioning that will allow him to play heavy minutes in an up tempo system. The team filled its large hole at shooting guard by adding Kyle Korver and signing veteran Keith Bogans instead.
The seven-time All-Star and two-time scoring champ looked like a shell of his old self last season.
McGrady couldn’t handle heavy minutes, he struggled to shoot the ball shooting 38 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the arc. McGrady didn’t show signs of any explosiveness and never showed that he could return to his old form.
Who Should Start At Shooting Guard for the Detroit Pistons?
Entering his 13th season at 31, McGrady looks past his prime and washed up.
The Pistons aren’t getting the seven-time All-Star, their getting an over-the-hill veteran worth the veteran's minimum.
McGrady isn’t going to carry a weak Pistons team. If he plays the way he did last season, the Pistons are still the same 27-win team from last season.
That being said, this is a low risk signing, and it’s certainly a risk worth taking considering the Pistons only paid 1.35 million.
Maybe McGrady will draw some fan interest, but that’s unlikely. However, basketball wise it might not be a bad move, if McGrady proves to be healthy.
The Pistons have a log jam at the wing positions with Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince.
McGrady reportedly agreed that he’d play behind both Hamilton and Prince, but the team has been trying to move both since last Summer.
Hamilton is going to be tough to move considering he only played in 46 games, he’s 32 years old, and he still has $25 million guaranteed for the next two seasons—a partially guaranteed third season, probably too much for a 32-year-old.
Prince is much more likely to be moved.
He only has one year remaining on his contract, plus he’s two years younger than Hamilton.
Prince is coming off a season in which he averaged 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists, but only played in 49 games.
My best bet is that Prince will be moved because of his value as an expiring contract.
Let’s say the Pistons do clear their log jam at the wing positions.
Will McGrady come off the bench or play at small forward?
Rip Hamilton showed no interest in playing small forward when Allen Iverson was in Detroit, so he’s likely staying at shooting guard.
The big question would be where does Rodney Stuckey play?
Will he play at point guard or shooting guard?
Stuckey looks to be a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. The Pistons don’t have any other player capable of running the point other than Will Bynum, so it looks Stuckey will probably play point guard this season.
Then the Pistons have the Ben Gordon situation.
Gordon was the team’s big free agent acquisition last summer; however, he played awful last season, averaging 13 points per game in 62 games.
He is recovering from offseason ankle surgery, and the team hopes to have him back by training camp. Gordon will probably log heavy minutes off the bench if he’s healthy, but who will get more playing time?
Gordon or McGrady?
It’d have to be Gordon because he’s the team’s big investment with four years, $44 million remaining on his current contract.
McGrady is going to have a lot of competition for minutes, even if he does come off the bench, but the Pistons see it as a low risk signing.
Basketball wise his impact might be minimal, but it’s a risk worth taking for the Detroit Pistons considering the team is in a rebuilding stage.
The Pistons need to draw some fan interest; its future doesn’t look too bright, plus they only are paying the veteran's minimum.
As for McGrady’s career, this may be his last chance to prove that he can stay healthy throghout the course of a full NBA season, even if it means coming off the bench.