So the workout reportedly went well, and McGrady gave the Bulls fans plenty to think about after the fact:
"I feel good," McGrady said at the Berto
Center. "I've been battling to get back to rare form. Still coming off
surgery. It's been a tough road, but I feel pretty good compared to my
last game that I played in New York. I was still going through the rehab
process then. I'm definitely a long ways away from what I used to look
like. But I'm very confident what I'm going to be in this coming season.
"I'd fit in well. I bring what I know about the game and my
athleticism and versatility. Knowing my smarts for the game, leadership,
anything I can add to get these guys over the edge. Without me, without
(Carlos) Boozer, they're a .500 club. With the guys we added, we'll be
I was the player I was in a Knicks uniform, I would have no problem
coming off the bench," he said. "But I have worked extremely hard and
I'm far from that player. It's up to me in training camp to prove I'm a
There are two prevailing schools of thought on Tracy McGrady:
1: If he's really healthy now, he can become an awesome player at a minimum price, thus he's worth the risk!
2: This guy's attitude, health risk, and style of play make him a bad fit for us.
I'm going to try to approach this, like everything, from a grey area perspective.
If healthy, McGrady could add shot creation. He's the type of player who could run an offense and get his own shot off while setting up plays for other players. That's primarily Rose's job, but Rose isn't going to play 48 minutes a night. It's primarily Watson's job if Rose isn't playing, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to have a third guy on the team who could play in that role.
How effective he'd play that role is up for debate. That's where the health thing comes into play. However, it's certainly fair to say that he's likely healthier now than he was last season. Microfracture surgery takes about 18 months for full recovery. He should be around that point as training camp opens.
That all said, it doesn't mean there's no downside to signing McGrady. The downside is that while the Bulls could use a third offensive initiator, they could use a second shooter more. Right now, their second three point shooter is C.J. Watson or Luol Deng. Neither are particularly dependable options. Eddie House, Roger Mason, Romain Sato, or Keith Bogans could all provide shooting to some degree. At least, I'd expect all of them to provide it more so than McGrady.
By signing McGrady now, we won't have the option to sign one of those players in three or four months if we need to cut McGrady due to attitude reasons. So there is some downside here, missing out on those caliber players isn't significant downside though. The problem is that there isn't reallys ignificant upside either.
Lost in the shuffle of McGrady's huge per game scoring average is his terrible efficiency. In the past five seasons he's had a TS% over 50% only once. 52% is roughly the league average. McGrady's efficiency drags down a team when he's handling the ball as much as he is. Even if healthy, it hasn't been since the 2002-3 season that he really dominated the game with efficient offense. The Bulls need a low volume off the ball efficient spot up shooter much more than they need a high volume inefficient initiator in my opinion.
I wouldn't read too much into his recent comments and how they pertain to the role he'd accept on the team. While some fans may scream about how he wants to prove he can start, what else would you really want the guy to say? As McGrady himself noted, he played with Thibodeau for three years in Houston. If Thibodeau thought McGrady was pure cancer then this situation wouldn't even be on the board.