Tracy McGrady will work out for the Bulls, but don’t get your hopes up

According to Kim Murphy of the Chicago Tribune: “The Bulls are working to finalize a workout for free agent swingman Tracy McGrady for Monday, a league source confirmed. However, the source added that signing McGrady, who is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee in February 2009, ‘is probably a long shot.’ The Bulls long have had a close relationship with McGrady’s agent, Arn Tellem, who is working to find McGrady a home. So some are interpreting the workout as either a favor or merely due diligence.”’s Nick Friedell doesn’t think the Bulls will move on McGrady. I don’t either.

Look, I get why the idea of McGrady is attractive to Bulls fans. It’s all about the grand “What If” scenario. What if T-Mac has some serious basketball left in the tank? Then signing him would be a steal!

But let’s be honest. Check out his stats from the past few seasons. Please note the downward spiral. Also note all the missed games. Over the past five seasons — from ages 26 through 30, a basketball player’s prime years — McGrady appeared in 249 out of a possible 410 games while struggling with a variety of injuries.

Should the Bulls tie up money in a player whose primary selling point is that he mighthave something left in the tank? We’re not talking about the Tracy McGrady who famously scored 13 points in 35 seconds. We’re talking about a ticking injury time bomb whose physical skills have eroded and who — if nobody signs him this summer — may never play in the NBA again.

Check out management’s battle plan. They signed Boozer because he’s a certified front court scorer. They signed Kyle Korver because he’s a proven high-percentage three-point shooter. And now they’re filling out the roster with guys like Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson because they’re talented, athletic, young, and they came at bargain prices.

It seems like the Bulls are bringing in young guys with short contracts who can be developed or discarded in three years if things don’t work out. This construction plan is about improving today and building for the future.

Tracy McGrady is notthe future. There may be no future for McGrady this season, let alone next season or the season after that. So why would the Bulls spend money on him when they might be able to use that cash to bring in somebody who could be useful today and further developed for the future?

I could be wrong. McGrady might wow everybody during his workout. If he proves that his body is sound and can still play at a high level, then signing him to a short-term, low cost deal would be a no-brainer. But it’s more likely that his knees are creaky and his abilities are too rusty to justify the cap hit, however small it might be.


65 Responses to Tracy McGrady will work out for the Bulls, but don’t get your hopes up

  1. Brad S. July 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Trib is reporting this morning that Kurt Thomas has agreed to come to the Bulls. I like the pick-up, but it may take an adjustment period before I am able to root for that guy for awhile. Ex-knicks never look good in Bull’s jerseys!

    luvabullnj July 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    If Portland would take JJ and 2nd round or a low 1st round pick for Rudy, then it would be a good deal. Otherwise no. No way we want to give up Taj for Rudy. You don’t trade a big for a guard unless the guard is flat out a star.
    T-Mac is worth a gamble unless insiders know he’s a cancer in the locker in the vein of Larry Hughes or Tim Thomas.
    We still need a big as much if not more than a SG given Boozers injury history. Samardo Samuels would fit the bill as the 5th big behind Asik. Hoping Asik will turn out to be the Taj for this season.

    How do the Spurs do it every year. Two best moves of the summer: Getting RJ to agree to take a less this year in return for a longer contract and freeing up caps space to sign Tiago Splitter, a future replacement for Duncun.

    Chicago has now dropped to 7th or 8th in Basketball relevance from being one of the top 2 or 3. We are now behind Miami and perhaps Orlando and Dallas. And way behind LA, Boston and NY. Even the Nets and Clippers might move ahead of us once the Nets move to Brooklyn and if the Clips start winning with Griffin.

    Let’s pray for Boozer to remain healthy and for Chicago basketball to change the beat from Blues to smooth Jazz!

    Aaron July 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    Forget about all your trade scenarios. The only transactions the front office will be considering is adding end of bench help.

    I see the Bulls adding another big for the end of the bench (unless Asik is better than we all think he is)and another taller swing man to back up SG and SF. Maybe another PG but don’t see the pressing need.

    Love Kurt Thomas’ game but can’t expect him to play more than 10-15 minutes (and be effective). With his signing they have 11 roster spots accounted for.

    I can see Mcgrady being signed as an insurance plan for something close to the minimum. Limit Deng to 34 minutes a game, Tracy gets 14 or so. If he sucks or is a PITA give the minutes to James Johnson to help him develope.

    dJ July 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    We got a veteran experience PF-C: Kurt Thomas to a small 1 year deal contract! to backup Boozer and Noah good move! =)

  5. Treydog July 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Sources say, Bulls are interested in signing one of the following next week, depending on TMac’s workout:

    Tracy McGrady
    Rasual Butler
    Shannon Brown

  6. J Millie July 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    We forget that when Korver sits down, and Deng continues to be his non-aggressive self and not look for his shot, Rose has the offensive burden. Boozer will help with that, but why not have a T Mac ready to come in with the second team to provide an offensive lift? Sign McGrady to a one year deal and show Bulls fans you are serious about trying to compete in the East…now…not in 2 years. We are all tired of this developmental chess game Bulls management plays that just doesnt work out in the league anymore. You develop players and they leave you to play with their friends in Miami. Take notes Pax. Bring in proven players who, hopefully, still can do somethings they’ve gained a positive repuatation for and let the chips fall where they may.

    Tmoney July 24, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    If YMac is healthy, and willing to sign a Kurt thomas like contract (heck with NFL incentives) and come off the bench playing 15 mins a game.. it can be a good signing. TMac has never been a cancer in the locker room, and is a good ball handler and distributer… we know his best days are behind him, but he’s worth a gamble, for this team, for one year. Again, if he can accept his role, be a mentor to JJ, we can have a strong bench and an even better team. If not healthy, then go ahead and grab Flip, House, Bogans, Mason… as they are all the same type player.

    loose bundle#3 July 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    i think we should let go jj and deng and pick up shaq for a two year deal and t mac for a vet low

    K brunson July 25, 2010 at 1:21 am #

    Bulls should look at patrick ewing jr or shannon brown

  10. TREYDOG July 26, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    T-Mac is expected to be a force in fourth quarter of games for a full season. Bulls are taking a risk because T-Mac possibly adds an extra 5 wins or so on the ledger. T-Mac might be worth the gamble to get that #2 seed in order to reach at the Eastern Conference Finals. GARPAXDORF might be thinking Finals, I don’t know about that. It takes 2 years to recover from micro fracture surgery and it’s been 2 years for T-Mac.

    JZ July 26, 2010 at 6:04 am #

    3 PTS HERE:

    1. Reading through these comments, who’s the goofball that thinks New York and New JErsey are ahead of the Bulls??????????? Give me a break. Derrick Rose first of all will own whoever PG is on those teams (and NO Devin HArris is not even on the same planet as Rose). Clippers, LOL. Oh no New York got Amare, too bad he does not have a Steve Nash to give him the ball where he needs it.

    2. I agree with the one who commented on the 72-10 scenario. That record is ours forever and we did it in the golden era of the league (and don’t tell me about 2 expansion teams that yr I mean those two teams are not any different than the worse teams in the league annually—such as last yr’s 12-70 Nets lol). Miami will NOT break that record with just 3 guys and let me add their interior outside of Bosh blows. EVen Bosh is more of a finese guy. They do not have a tough guy like Rodman. And MJ/Pippen>Wade/Lebron. 72-10 Bulls supporting cast>Miami supporting cast, its not even close. Phil JAckson>Erik SPolstra (lol at SPolstra). We are fine, the record is ours forever even though todays era would be much easier to break it with weaker teams.

    3. If TMAC passes his workout this monday, he is on the Bulls. I hope this is a steal. If he is healthy he can still be a superstar in this league and although Miami may have 2 of the top 3 players in the leagu now with a star in Bosh alongside them, we would have DRose–SUperstar, Boozer–Superstar, Noah—Superstar of all role players, Healthy TMAC–Superstar, Gibson—capable double-double guy which he won;t get many since we are very deep. And with the way COach Tibathou(sp?) wants us to play which is strong defensively then maybe we can be a richer version of the 2003-04 Pistons, which is win with Strong Defense and great team play offensively were we are deep enough to have anyone and everyone contribute (we are richer because D Rose is our big time star). And Miami could be 03-04 Lakers, with the big signings (Malone, GP, Kobe, Shaq) but outdone by a STRONG TEAM.

    dJ July 26, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    I would throw a veteran Guard next as our top priority for that number 12 spot in the Bulls roster. Someone like Eddie House or Rafer Alston for 3 point shooting. Then I would add a SG-F to finish my 13 roster with someone like: Joey Graham, Jarvis Hayes, Rodney Carney, Roger Mason, Antoine Wright or Cartier Martin.

  13. TexasBearsFan July 26, 2010 at 6:20 am #

    Well, I hear that the Bulls have sent TMac the parameters for the contract we want to sign him to. I’ve been very down on TMac and I still am, but if he’ll sign a KurtThomas-like contract and not whine about only getting 10-15 minutes per game off the bench AND he’s still healthy, I guess we could do worse.

    He’s not a superstar in this league anymore. Not in any condition. Anyone who thinks he’s going to come in and somehow rejuvenate his career and start dropping 25 a night as a full-time starter is borderline dilusional.

    As a 6th man who can come in, provide a mismatch and toss in 10 to 15 a night? I guess that’d be ok. Provided he knows and accepts his role.

    inkybreath July 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    We have seen Stackhouse and Finley play important roles for teams of late and I think that McGrady can do that same thing for us. He is lucky to have a shot to be on this team, I hope he plays that way.

    JZ July 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Another thing on TMAC—I think I like to bench role. Maybe he could be like what Toni Kukoc was for our Championship Teams in 96-97-and 98 and thats instant offense off the bench. EVen like Ben Gordon was in his Bulls career but McGrady is so much taller than BG and can handle the ball better which makes him more effective.

Designed by Anthony Bain