Where will T-Mac end up?

I could not believe it the other day when I read that the Detroit Pistons were considering signing Tracy McGrady. I could not think why they would go after him when they already have more than enough players at his shooting guard and small forward positions.

Look, the Pistons are a mess anyhow, blowing their Iverson cap-space a year early to overspend for what are bench players or, at best, fringe starters (Charlie V and Ben Gordon). Both players have their faults, with BG being an undersized 2 guard with poor handles; Charlie V being a big man that hardly rebounds. Neither has ever been mistaken for a good defender. They both have positives, mainly scoring and 3-point shooting for both, with Ben Gordon being especially clutch. However, you have to figure Joe Dumars would have been better served sitting it out last summer and seeing who he could grab this summer – although, plenty of teams missed out on a big name (New Jersey for one) and you can see Dumars pointing to that saying at least he now has a big-time clutch scorer to show for his cap space.

But why would he consider adding T-Mac to the mix? I mean, their leader at the point (since Chauncey was dealt) Rodney Stuckey seems to play better when he’s off the ball, plus Hamilton is still around due to a mammoth extension he signed a couple years back, and there’s Ben Gordon at shooting guard also. They have second-round pick Terrico White, who you figure they’ll sign at that spot too. Then at small forward there’s Tayshaun Prince, who may be dealt this season due to an $11 million expiring contract, then you have the 2009 first-round (15th overall) pick, Austin Daye, who figures to keep improving and thus needs to get some minutes. With all this going on will there even be any minutes for T-Mac? My guess is no (DA has similar sentiments in his report, suggesting T-Mac ‘would create an unwanted log-jam at the shooting guard and small forward spots’).

Now I don’t mean to seem like I’m piling on Detroit or even T-Mac for that matter. Despite Detroit’s flawed roster I still think they have enough talent to reach the playoffs barring any major injuries, and I think T-Mac’s had an incredible career and has done an admirable job fighting back from his knee issues. Heck, I even like how New Jersey recovered from missing a big name to grab solid players on the cheap and maintain financial flexibility. I’m not writing this just to be negative toward a whole bunch of people and organisations, not at all.

There’s just something in me that says T-Mac to Detroit makes no sense. And that something is right. When the Clippers pass on signing you, despite a need for a veteran swingman, you should know something’s up. And when the Bulls decide not to offer you a contract but instead sign Keith Bogans to fill that veteran need, alarm bells should start going off. Unfortunately, there may not be a place in the league at this stage for McGrady. Just maybe, however, if he stays patient and in good shape, he can come to the rescue of a team in need of veteran guidance – just like Jerry Stackhouse in Milwaukee last season. After all, Stack was left alone in free agency too. And, like T-Mac, he once was a big-time scorer who dealt with knee issues. There is likely an NBA home yet for T-Mac. Just not in Detroit.

Edit: this article appeared on NBA.com about 10 minutes after I posted this. I guess there is a home for T-Mac in Detroit after all.

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