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NBA PM: Spurs, Knicks Eyeing McGrady
Posted By Alex Kennedy On September 13, 2012 @ 5:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Tracy McGrady may not be the player that he used to be, but he has proven in recent years that he’s still capable of contributing if put in the right situation. That’s why several teams are still intrigued by the 33-year-old, who remains unsigned with training camps set to open in less than three weeks.
McGrady spent this week working out with the San Antonio Spurs at their practice facility and he’s expected to go through a similar workout for the New York Knicks next week, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. McGrady had a similar workout with the Charlotte Bobcats earlier this month. If signed by one of these teams, McGrady would either ink a deal for the veteran’s minimum or a non-guaranteed contract that would allow the team to part ways with him if the experiment fails.
At this point in his career, McGrady would prefer to play for an elite team that will give him the chance to advance deep into the playoffs and compete for a championship.
If the Spurs, Knicks and other teams decide to pass on McGrady, he may decide to sign an overseas deal in China, where he’s still extremely popular due in large part to his stint with the Houston Rockets when he played alongside Yao Ming. McGrady could likely sign a lucrative contract with a team in the Chinese Basketball Association and have plenty of off-court opportunities to pursue as well, just as Stephon Marbury has done in recent years.
By trying out for San Antonio and New York, McGrady is hoping to show that still has something left in the tank and could help a team as they look to contend this upcoming season. At this point in his career, McGrady is a low-risk, high-reward signing, assuming he’s willing to accept a lesser role. Last season with the Atlanta Hawks, McGrady grew frustrated with his fluctuating minutes and ever-changing role.
McGrady is content with coming off of the bench at this point in his career, but he does still want to play consistent minutes and be a contributor on his next team. In San Antonio or New York, he would be brought in to provide scoring off of the bench and likely play some point forward, as he did at times with the Detroit Pistons two seasons ago.
Last season, McGrady averaged 5.3 points, 3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 52 games as a reserve with Atlanta. When he last played in New York, during the 2009-10 season, he averaged 9.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 24 games as a starter. McGrady’s descent from superstar to role player has happened very quickly. While he’s only 33 years old, he has plenty of NBA miles on his body since he entered the league straight out of high school and has played 15 seasons in the league.
Despite his long career and myriad of individual achievements, McGrady has still never won a playoff series, a drought he hopes to end this season by joining a loaded team like San Antonio or New York.
Teams Continue to Evaluate Whiteside: Hassan Whiteside spent this week working out for the Miami Heat, who continues to search for a reserve big man. Whiteside worked out for the team over the course of several days, with his final workout scheduled for his afternoon. Pat Riley, Miami’s team president, has been watching the workouts along with the team’s coaching staff.
Whiteside had a similar workout with the Minnesota Timberwolves last week. Since being waived by the Sacramento Kings during summer league, the center has attracted interest from a number of teams.
Despite his struggles in Sacramento, Whiteside is still just 23 years old and has plenty of potential. It’s not often that teams give up on a seven-footer at such a young age, which is why teams like Miami and Minnesota are lining up to get a look at him and see if he can still realize his full potential.
It wasn’t long ago that Whiteside broke the NCAA record for most blocks in a single season, averaging 5.4 rejections per game for Marshall. In Sacramento, Whiteside never really got into a rhythm or had a defined role. In fact, he played sparingly in just 18 games during the first two years of his career.
For a team like Miami, who has shown in the past that they’re willing to take chances on low-risk, high-reward big men such as Eddy Curry, Whiteside could be someone worth bringing in either to contribute now or develop for the future.
Pietrus Continues to Weigh Options: Mickael Pietrus is arguably the most talented free agent remaining on the market. He has been a significant contributor throughout the course of his nine-year career and he can still provide scoring and perimeter defense off of the bench if given the minutes.
Last season with the Boston Celtics, Pietrus emerged as a key role player, just as he had done with the Orlando Magic several years earlier. Everywhere Pietrus has played, he has become a favorite in the locker room.
Now, Pietrus remains unsigned and continues to weigh his options. Throughout this process, Pietrus has been reluctant to sign a one-year deal or agree to the veteran’s minimum, which is why he hasn’t re-signed with Boston. He has expressed interest in returning to the Celtics, but they aren’t willing to offer their bi-annual exception.
Other teams that have been linked to Pietrus include the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves. Reports have indicated that Pietrus is nearing a decision so we may know the swingman’s destination in the coming days.
Clippers Add Barnes: Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes is moving across the hall at the Staples Center and joining the Los Angeles Clippers for the 2012-13 season, SI.com is reporting.
Barnes, who suffered some injury setbacks late last year, spent the last two seasons with the Lakers. This is the second stint with the Clippers for the California native. He originally played for them his rookie year back in 2003-04. Since then Barnes has bounced around the league, making stops with seven other teams, never staying with any longer than two seasons.
The Clippers have made getting more experienced a priority this offseason, which Barnes fits in perfectly with. They are now far deeper and more experienced than they were last season.
Barnes’ contract puts their roster at 15, meaning the Clippers are probably done making moves this offseason unless it’s inviting in a couple of guys to training camp on non-guaranteed deals.
- Yannis Koutroupis
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