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Reports: Detroit Pistons sign Tracy McGrady to one-year deal, he agrees to come off the bench

UPDATE: David Aldridge Tweets that McGrady has agreed to come off the bench. Joe Dumars must’ve been very careful about not wanting a replay of the Iverson situation.

Sources tell PistonPowered that the Pistons and Tracy McGrady have agreed to a one-year, $1.3 million deal. Those sources are MLive and the Detroit Free Press.

I’ve already analyzed this move to death here and here. But one thing I don’t really agree with is this common sentiment, expressed here by Vince Ellis:

If he is signed, he would create even more of a logjam as he can play the same positions as Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton and would seem to open the door for a possible trade of either of the long-time Pistons.

There is no guarantee that McGrady, Hamilton or Prince can be counted on for an entire season. McGrady has been chronically injured the last two years. Hamilton has had two straight unhealthy seasons. And Prince’s back problems last year, combined with high mileage and a slight frame, make him far from a sure bet to bounce back from injury.

Adding McGrady could mean either Prince or Hamilton is getting traded. But it could also mean one or the other isn’t entirely healthy. Just because McGrady creates a bigger logjam at the wing spots doesn’t necessarily mean another move is imminent. I think it’s worth at least waiting until training camp to not only allow the three prideful vets to push each other and see who still has the desire (and skill) to be a starting player in this league, but more importantly, to see if McGrady is capable health-wise of even stepping into a prominent role should one of the incumbents get traded.

It’s a low-risk signing for one year at the vets’ minimum. It’s not bringing in a guy who’s necessarily an upgrade over Hamilton or Prince. I would think that’s what the hope is, best case scenario, but McGrady still has a lot to prove himself, and the Pistons would be wise to see him in action before determining how much he can help them.

19 Comments

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  • Aug 10, 20101:10 pm
    by The Rake

    Reply

    Can we please, at a minimum, move Summers now?  Just save a bit of space for a guy who won’t contribute here?  This move sucks…

  • Aug 10, 20101:21 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    ok debbie downer. way to get everyone excited with the ‘dreams’ series just to pull the plug when the dream comes true. i sure do hope there is a trade, but if not this really isn’t anything to get excited about at all. t-mac probably won’t see a single minute of court time barring a trade or injury. if he does it will be at the expense of gordon or bynum most likely. t-mac might help at some point in the season, maybe, but i seriously hope there is another move at at that point.

  • Aug 10, 20101:31 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    sure, they’ve all suffered injuries lately, but what if everyone DOES remain healthy? you really shouldn’t go into a season CROSSING YOUR FINGERS for injuries so that your rotations make sense.
     
    as a precursor to trading rip, i could not love this move more. i think t-mac would be a great fourth guard to complement stuckey, gordon and bynum. i would give joe a lot of credit if his plan is to dump rip (for cap relief and picks or something) and this is dirt cheap insurance. it’s almost like we’ll get to see the iverson experiment done right. so joe doesn’t want to look like a fool and give rip away for nothing, but with t-mac you have a zero risk, high reward. so you’re basically trading for rip and you don’t look so foolish dumping him. if t-mac was on a team and arnie kander said he was healthy, even though rip is probably a better player, i’d trade rip for t-mac straight up.
     
    on the other hand, t-mac is a bad replacement for tayshaun. he’s too valuable, he’s our best player. you need to do the right  trade if you’re parting with tayshaun. he’s going to be very very valuable come february. as a precursor to trading tayshaun, it’s fine (assuming we get a great trade for tayshaun). can’t hurt to have him, and he doesn’t cost anything. but you better get something GOOD for tayshaun. so this is only a good move if he’s dead set on trading tayshaun.
     
    but if no further trades occur, i am not optimistic about this. but joe’s not crazy. he can’t think there are enough minutes for stuckey, gordon, rip, bynum, tayshaun and t-mac. that’s 24 minutes each. he’d have a mutiny on his hands! i give him more credit than that. so i have a hard time imagining this can be a bad thing.

  • Aug 10, 20102:22 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    horrible move.
    what everyone appears to forget is how much this will retard the growth and progress of the team’s best young players.
    the guys who should be playing and learning and maturing – daye, JJ, summers, and to some degree gordon and stuckey and white – are all going to have their playing time seriously cut in order to play mcgrady.
    and to what end?
    how many more games is mcgrady going to help the team win?
    and then what happens next year?
    when do the young guys you will need for your next title run actually get to play.
    horrendous move and it will rank right up there with the AI debacle as a move that defines joe d’s fall into the ranks of the worst gms in the league.

  • Aug 10, 20104:46 pm
    by Josh V

    Reply

    I can’t see any reason why this is a bad move.  Rip absolutely has to be traded, his contract is incredibly expensive and his strengths do not fit this team at all.  He should be moved for young talent or draft picks (preferably a first rounder).  If he can be packaged with an energy guy off the bench like Maxiel I think it is possible that we could pick up a proven solid PF/C in return and not worry about draft picks.  Inevitably for this team to truly rebound we need to get young talent, a pure PG, and a formidable center.  I think ultimately Stuckey, Rip, Tayshaun, AND Maxiel (or Villanueva if a team is dumb enough to bite) should be moved in an effort to get young talent at the PG, PF, and C positions.  Without bolstering the front line and getting a legitimate pass-first PG this team will continue to be terrible.  And frankly, Tay and Rip have worn out their welcome; Rip we can afford to lose for picks, Tayshaun should bring in a proven player (with a little luck).

  • Aug 10, 20106:58 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    Arnie will have him ready…. Just like McDyess…. But somebody has to leave…. and Tayshaun is not our best player, he will play better somewhere else…. He seems stifled here…. Rip is still good, but he makes too much….

  • Aug 10, 20109:16 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:
    If everyone does remain healthy, someone will get traded. Prince is going to be easy to move at some point, if they choose. McGrady can be moved in December if he can still play, but doesn’t really fit. Rip’s the hardest of the three to move, but if all three are healthy, teams will be more willing to bite.

  • Aug 10, 20109:21 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @frankie d:
    I would bet Jerebko will play more up front than on the perimeter, so that clears one spot.
    As far as Daye, it would be nice to see him get minutes. But the Pistons under Dumars have never been a team that has given young guys minutes just to give them minutes. I don’t agree with the strategy, but I don’t think anyone should be shocked by them adding a veteran who could potentially take minutes from Daye.

  • Aug 10, 20109:24 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Josh V:
    I think Hamilton has to prove he’s healthy first before a team would take a chance on him, and I think the Pistons will have to take back an equally onerous contract in return. I really don’t see many quality bigs out there right now that teams would be willing to part with.

  • Aug 10, 20109:33 pm
    by nwkking

    Reply

    why dont everyone give the rotation a chance if wade lebron and bosh can play together why cant rip,tay,gordon and mcgrady? our young players can learn from mcgrady he is a vet its all on john kuester to put a lineup together there is no excuses now we have a talented team just the way it is we have a mini allstar team in the d if we stay healthy we will be a problem for any team none of our draft picks are better than mcgrady so be patient we will shock the nba like we did in 04 dettttttttttttttttttttttroit basssssssssssssket ballllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  • Aug 10, 20109:56 pm
    by nwkking

    Reply

    we are one of the deepest teams in the nba we never really had a true center and i dont think we need 1 now big ben and monroe got that 5 spot everybody talking about trade rip he is over paid! but who is better? amir johnson got 35 mill you telling me rip not worth his contract?! thats crazy!! tay this is his last year anyway but who is better than tay? he is a olympic gold winner,allstar,7 years playoff experience and a champion if it wasnt for rip and tay we would’nt have had a championship in 04 now that they a little older and had injuries [tay first season] we want to get rid of them?what kind of fan are you?

  • Aug 10, 201010:14 pm
    by nwkking

    Reply

    the  only player we have that actually played more playoff games then lebron is rip/tay/big ben

    stuckey/bynum/white 
    rip/gordon
    tashaun/mcgrady/austin daye 
    charlie v/max/jonas j
    big ben/greg monroe
    summers and wilcox????

  • Aug 10, 201010:26 pm
    by nwkking

    Reply

    ok my last one lol who would you rather have kwame brown or tracy mcgrady? im done! lol

  • Aug 11, 201012:10 am
    by The Rake

    Reply

    If Prince is moved as a result of this signing, I may stop being a fan.  I’m serious. Thats forfeiting roughly 25 years of fandom. It better not happen as a direct result of this. If Rip goes (preferred) then I am okay.  I still f*cking hate T-Mac.

  • Aug 11, 20103:13 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    for the record, i wasn’t talking about some midseason trade. i’m talking about a trade before training camp. all six of our perimeter veterans CAN NOT and WILL NOT play effectively together. 24 minutes apiece. right. fat chance. there is no way dumars convinced him to come here to play behind five other perimeter players. no way at all. how could anyone think these guys all make sense on the same roster? you’d have to be mental.
     
    my hunch is that this just softens the blow of having to trade rip for nothing. rip’s contract negates every bit of production he adds, so you can’t get any value for him. if you want him gone (and i’d say the pistons downright NEED him gone. heck, they needed him gone before t-mac came along), you can’t expect to get anything in return. getting his contract off the books is probably all you can expect in return. so this way it’s like trading for t-mac. the chauncey trade gone right. that’s the only way i can make sense of this.
     
    if we go into the season with all these guys, the team is going to be embarrassing, and nobody is going to be happy or productive. this is not a good environment for establishing value for your players. maybe a team like the nets (who have a new billionaire owner, cap space, struck out in free agency, and could use a veteran shooter and proven scorer) takes him off our hands. we won’t get any talent in return, but being out from under that contract will be its own reward.
     
    the thing is, i don’t think it’s possible for rip to establish value commensurate with that contract. look at his track record since he’s been in detroit (and been in the league, really). if he’s healthy you know what you’re getting from him. whether you think he’s worth his salary or not, you certainly can’t call him a steal at $12,650,000.00. so the best we can reasonably expect is someone taking him period.
     
    if joe goes into the season with the team as it’s currently constructed, he needs to be slapped.

  • Aug 11, 20103:33 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    forgot to add: the only way you could dream of getting value for rip is if you traded him when his salary was only partially guaranteed or expiring. that would mean holding onto him for two or three more seasons, respectively.
     
    if you trade him after two more seasons, he only offers $9 million in potential cap relief, because the last year of his contract is partially guaranteed. if you keep him and fully guarantee the last year of his contract (which you’d probably have to be insane to do), he represents almost $13 million in cap relief.
     
    so the questions are, (1) what can you get in exchange for that kind of cap relief? and (2) is it worth having two or three MORE seasons of this horrendous backcourt situation we’ve had for two seasons already AND that figures to be even worse with the addition of t-mac??
     
    my answers are unequivocally (1) not enough and (2) no.
     
    i could see the nets taking on rip as a way to add talent without losing any. they have a ways to go in the rebuilding process, and if this past offseason is any indication, they might not think they could attract a marquee free agent just yet, which i don’t think they can. at the very least they have to start doing some winning, and rip could help them do that.

  • Aug 12, 201012:31 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    @ Patrick Hayes,
    imho, JJ is a sf.
    i think it’s pretty clear that right now in his career, he gets physically overmatched against any halfway decent power forward.  he simply is not strong enough to guard any but the weakest, mediocre power forwards.
    however, he can be dominant at the sf, imho.  physically, he more than holds his own, and he has the length and the quick feet that allow him to guard most sfs, even some of the most athletic.   insisting on playing him at a position where he may survive, but not thrive is a big mistake, but one that is dictated by the ridiculously imbalanced roster.
    and you are correct about the pistons never giving young players what i consider a legitimate shot.  joe will always plug in an average or just good enough vet, and refuse to take a chance on a young guy who might develop into a much better player.  (prince and stuckey are the only players who haven’t fallen into that trap, and there are specific, unique reasons each got a fair shot.)
    the refusal to develop young talent, a weird, almost palpable antipathy to giving young players a  real chance, is why detroit is in this self-generated limbo where they are not really rebuilding, but not really good enough to challenge for anything other than the last spot in the playoffs.
    i’d much rather give a young player a chance, than muddle through with a vet whose main motivation is finding a way to scam one more decent contract before he retires.  the young guy will provide much more for the team, while the vet – like mcgrady – will always be selfishly looking at and playing for that last future contract he wants and needs.

  • Aug 12, 201012:46 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    everyone is talking as though it is a fait accompli that tay and/or rip will now be traded.
    excuse me, but i certainly don’t recall hearing joe d say anything of the sort.  in fact, everything he has implied or hinted  at – and done or not done – in his statements indicates that he will keep both players.
    logic might dictate that both be traded, but logically, rip should have been traded before or just after he signed gordon.  now, one year later, both gordon and rip are still on the roster and it doesn’t look like joe d is any closer to trading either.
    the best chance of someone trading for rip and his bad contract was this summer when all those teams still had salary cap space because they were in the bidding for free agents.  now, most of those teams have filled up their space via trades and signings and it will be that much harder to trade him.  if joe ever really wanted to trade him.
    so adding mcgrady to what is already a logjam, with no concurrent action to trade current players, is just plain crazy to me, and imho what will happen will be a combination of  the iverson fiasco and last year’s roster turmoil.  it makes no sense whatsoever.

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