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The question of Tracy McGrady’s future might start coming up more when the trade deadline passes

For now, the whole Sam-and-Ronnie thing going on between Rip Hamilton and John Kuester, and whether Hamilton will get traded before the trade deadline later this month, are the most pressing issues for the Pistons.

But once the deadline passes? I have a hunch the biggest question with the team will be what they do with Tracy McGrady. The Associated Press recently wrote about T-Mac’s resurgence, including his future in Detroit:

"Tracy has worked out even better than we expected," Pistons president Joe Dumars said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "He’s a pro in every sense of the word."

The question now is where McGrady will be in a year. Dumars says he’d love to have him remain with Detroit, but the veteran may have earned himself a few options with his encouraging play.

I don’t need to go into much detail on how great a signing McGrady has been this season. If Chicago had signed him when they had him in for a workout before the season started, I think the Bulls would be legit title contenders, McGrady has been that good (although who knows how much the Arnie Kander effect has had on his resurgence and whether it would be repeated, minus Arnie, elsewhere).

Although the Hamilton situation has seemed like a sideshow, it’s just the first of what could be a few distractions, since the Pistons have to make difficult decisions on whether to sign both McGrady and Rodney Stuckey long-term next season.

16 Comments

  • Feb 7, 201110:40 am
    by Dave Dial

    Reply

    There has to be an honest and open discussion between Joe and T-Mac. Does McGrady want to stay in Detroit. or be traded to a contender? If Tracy doesn’t want to stay, he should be moved for whatever asset the Pistons can get for him. I believe T-Mac has a veto on any trade, so he would have to approve of the team he was going to.
    If McGrady wants to stay, then he could be offered the MLE next summer(assuming it’s still part of the new CBA, which is assuming too much). T-Mac has not only been a stabilizing force for the team on the court, he has been a complete professional and a leader for the team. He is the type of vet player that would benefit the team the most in it’s efforts to rebuild.
     

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  • Feb 7, 201111:03 am
    by Steve K

    Reply

    Regarding Stuckey, prior to his injury I was definitely in favor of re-signing him. He seemed to offer much more positives than the other high-priced shooting guards. Yet, I can’t say the team has really lost much without him.
    He’s the best ball-handler, sure. And he’s a solid defender. Yet, in terms of wins and losses, I’m not convinced he’s actually helping the team win.

  • Feb 7, 201112:24 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    i cringe at the flat assumption that t-mac will be here after the deadline passes. guy’s got to have a TON of value, and this team should be getting younger. yeah you’d like to have some veteran presence in the locker room and on the floor, even on a young rebuilding team, but ben wallace is under contract for another season, and i doubt rip’s going anywhere (like it or not). maybe the case could be made that he’s our MVP so far, but i feel like ANY point guard would’ve had that effect. smart move would be to unload prince and t-mac and get a point guard through the draft or free agency, or in return for one of those guys.
     
    on stuckey: like i’ve said fifty times, all we need is one or two of those pricey shooting guards. ditch stuckey, ditch gordon, no difference. and stuckey is NOT the team’s best ballhandler. not that we’ve got many ballhandlers, but that honor probably goes to bynum. stuckey can only go in straight lines. even t-mac on a knee and a half actually maneuvers a bit with the ball to put himself and his teammates in better position; stuckey dribbles in place or makes a bee-line for the basket.

    • Feb 7, 201112:44 pm
      by Mike Payne

      Reply

      @Laser:
      fist bump for saying what I wanted to say more succinctly.  Despite the time difference, your comment hadn’t appeared yet when I hit the submit button.

  • Feb 7, 201112:43 pm
    by Mike Payne

    Reply

    It’s been a blast having this guy in Detroit, but personally I’m afraid that if we keep Tracy past the deadline and he walks, this signing will have been a waste.  And honestly, I think the likelihood of McGrady walking is nearly an absolute.  I know reports have said that he’s happy in Detroit, he’s grateful for the chance to rebuild his career and that he’s “not a ring chaser”, but I’m sure all bets are off once free agency begins.
     
    The brilliance of this signing was that the better McGrady played, the more value Dumars could return on the trade market.  He could likely be moved for a pick or a package if McGrady showed even a fraction of his former self.  Now that he has, the smart move would be to find value in return for a high second rounder or two, a low first-rounder from a contender or a longer-term project with a lot of upside.
     
    If we keep McGrady, it might earn us an extra win or two this season and a lower pick as a result.  If he walks, those wins didn’t do us any favors.  If he’s open to re-signing, I’d caution two things: 1) 51 games from a player with McGrady’s health history isn’t enough to suggest he’ll remain healthy across a new contract, and 2) a 31-year-old McGrady shouldn’t be a building block on a rebuilding team.  From my perspective, finding youth and purity at the point should be Detroit’s primary concern in the next year.
     
    I loved this signing as soon as Joe pulled it off, I’ve loved having McGrady on this team and I’m thrilled that he’s playing so well.  The time is now to sell high, to thank Tracy and to wish him well, likely sending him to a playoff team.  If we keep him past the trade deadline, I’m scurred.  For reals.

  • Feb 7, 20112:25 pm
    by Talented Mr_Cobb

    Reply

    There are only two teams that come to mind that I feel need Tracy to solidify their title chances or at least give them an additional ” weapon “: The Chicago Bulls & Los Angelas Lakers. They were interested last summer but didn’t think he was healthy physically and willing mentally to accept a bench role.  Chicago needs him more than the Lakers because they’re ” shooting guard by committee ” is horrible. They hae 3 players who combine average 11 pts per game. That’s not going to be enough to get past Boston, Atlanta, Miami, and even New York. Tracy to me would be the perfect compliment to Derek Rose because he can run the point and allow Rose to play off the ball and not worry about having to do everything for the Bulls. They could resign Tracy to the MLE for 2yrs and he will be even better next yr because he will finally be able to focus on basketball related activities this summer instead of having to worry about rehabing his knee.  I would like to see Tracy playing with the Heat because again, he would allow Lebron & Wade to play off the ball. But I don’t see that happening til maybe in the offseason, once they realize that they need more than Chalmers, Arroyo, Eddie House, James Jones, and Haslem as a supporting cast.

  • Feb 7, 20113:29 pm
    by jgk281

    Reply

    The Pistons have some srious finncial problem to sort out. Unless they find a better PG, it would inexcusable to ot bring McGrady back. However, if they want to add any players of impact in FA, I’m not sure they can afford to re-sign Stuckey and McGrady.

    But they can’t just bring back this same wretched team with no additions again next year.

    They have to change something. Unfortunately, their best players are the ones that need extensions, and their worst players are occupying all the cap space.

    Rip, Gordon, CV, Bynum, and Maxiell all need to go by next year, and if Joe can’t move at least 1-2 of them, then he needs to go, and they can find someone else who can move them.

    Of this roster, Monroe, Daye, Jerebko, Stuckey, and McGrady are the only players that should be back again next year. Everybody else should be used to acquire talent to add to that group. If Joe cant do that, then he needs to go. The whole ownership excuse is kind of weak because Joe got himself into this mess with all these bad contracts. Just because the ownership situation is preventing him from getting out of it doesn’t detract all blame from him. 

    Its unfortunate for Joe that he might not get the chance to correct these mistakes this time around like he has done on his previous mistakes, but thats too bad. If he hadn’t created this mess, there would be no “ownership situation” holding back trades/FA.

    You dont just fill your roster with bad, long-term contracts thinking you can trade your way out of it later, because something might come up preventing it, and now he’s screwed.

  • Feb 7, 20113:54 pm
    by Tim

    Reply

    I’d like to see Joe D try to pry Taj Gibson from Chicago for TMac. Sure, Gibson is great insurance for Chicago when Boozer or Noah is out. But when those are healthy, between them and Kurt Thomas, Gibson really gets squeezed. Then maybe we could get Brooks for Stuckey. And if we could straight up swap Gordon for Butler, the roster would really be looking up.  Alternatively, we could give Prince for Butler and force Dallas to also take Maxiell for Stevenson in the process. These are a lot of moves which each only offer a little upside. But I think getting any of them done would be doable and have positive repercussions down the road.

    • Feb 7, 20114:15 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Those scenarios seem a little far-fetched.
      First, if T-Mac is traded, and I’m not sure they will shop him that hard, Gibson is probably out of the range of young player they could acquire for him. Gibson is a proven rotation caliber big man on any team. Plus he’s young and cheap. McGrady is a rental player, and an old one at that. Giving up Gibson for a guy who may not sign, even if Chicago wanted to sign him long-term, would be an incredibly short-sighted move for a team that looks like it could contend for a while with the youth of its core.
      McGrady could maybe fetch a low first round pick or maybe a player on a rookie contract who has fallen out of favor or is considered more of a project player. He wouldn’t yield someone like Gibson.
      And as far as Brooks for Stuckey? How does that help? They both are shoot-first PGs. They are both guys who will likely command extensions at far greater numbers than they are probably worth.

  • Feb 7, 20115:00 pm
    by ds

    Reply

    A bit off topic, but I’ve been wondering about a trade – and wanted to know what people think. How about Tay + (RIP or BG) for Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand? Who would need to sweeten their side?
    I know the team would need to be sold before the Pistons could add that kind of Salary. But AI would seem to be a great fit for Detroit, and Brand is not a good contract, but would be a much better match for Detroit than RIP.
    I’m curious what people think.

    • Feb 7, 20115:06 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Philly’s contending for the playoffs, so I’d bet they wouldn’t do that trade. And Brand has actually played pretty well for them, while their young guy, Speights, has had a pretty bad season, so yeah, Brand’s contract sucks and Philly would probably still like to shed it, but he might actually be building some value that could yield more than just a salary dump trade.
      And I think if Philly were willing to deal Iggy, they would get much more in return considering he’d help just about any contender right now, even if he is a tad overpaid.

  • Feb 7, 20116:43 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    well, we don’t have a point guard on the roster other than T-Mac – so they either need to trade for one, draft one, or resign T-Mac. It is obvious that ever since they moved Stuckey off the ball, the team has played better. It is also obvious to anyone with a brain that Will Bynum is no point guard – he is a scoring guard in a small body………so

    who is going to play the point next year? Remember, along with T-Mac, Prince might also be gone and he runs the point in the half court about 20% of the time.

  • Feb 7, 20119:28 pm
    by acdctime

    Reply

    Any PG would have had the same effect? lol. Not many PG’s beside Rondo, Paul, Nash and maybe 3 or 4 have better court vision or passing skills of McGrady’s  

  • Feb 8, 201112:30 am
    by Fennis

    Reply

    The team is steadily approaching the most important trade deadline in several years. Dumars should look trade any player on the roster that he doesn’t envision on a championship roster in two to three years. I don’t think T-Mac passes that test. Yes, we’ve all enjoyed the better brand of basketball displayed over the past few weeks due to T-Mac’s return to glory (return to competence?), but the fandom needs to bite the bullet and endure an ugly second half in the interest of long-term goals. My fear is that Dumars will be tempted to keep the status quo to make the best possible impression with his new bosses.

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