According to Steven A. Smith, the lockout will end soon, and when it does, the Chicago Bulls will sign Tracy McGrady.
Smith is one of those guys that is hard to give much credibility to due to his loud attention grabbing style, but he has deep contacts on the player front and was the first guy to leak that the big three were heading to Miami.
In terms of this situation, it's easy for me to believe that McGrady wants to go to Chicago and that he's leaked that to Stephen A. The harder part to buy into is that the Bulls management has leaked any of their plans to anyone. At most, I think they've let McGrady know they're interested through some back channel method.
Ignoring the accuracy of the claim for the moment, lets examine the reasons why the Bulls may or may not be interested and McGrady's fit if they are.
My first thought was to dismiss this rumor, because the Bulls tried out McGrady last year and decided they were scared off by his attitude and lack of physical skills. He proved himself healthy enough to do a solid job in Detroit last season though, and thus, the fear of his physical skills being gone is likely mitigated somewhat.
The attitude fears might have grown even moreso though as he was one of the players involved in the locker room coup d'etat in Detroit. That's a somewhat poor position for a guy with McGrady's red flags to allow himself to be put in even if he wasn't a ringleader.
One of the Bulls greatest strengths is chemistry and bringing in McGrady is certainly a risk there for several reasons.
On the other hand, from what we know of the new CBA, guys available at the league minimum might be significantly more appealing to Chicago. Signing a new 3-5 million dollar contract for a player doesn't seem all that appealing if the player isn't going to come in and deliver something substantially better than what we have and no one available at 4-5 million is likely to do that.
The Bulls added three players in that price range last year at guard, and simply rotating the deck chairs by bringing in a similar caliber player isn't likely to do a whole lot. Given that, bringing in someone who can help fill a need at near the minimum on a short term deal while holding out on a trade with two (or all three) of Korver, Brewer, and Watson makes some sense.
As such, the price is right for a guy who can fill a need to create some more offense without breaking the bank while the Bulls hedge for something better.
The biggest problem with taking on a guy like McGrady, even at the minimum, is creating discord in the locker room by overflowing your team with guys who feel they deserve to play without having minutes for them to do so.
You can't simply throw five guys into an open SG competition and see who wins. You end up with a team with a bunch of pissed off guys on it. As such, it's difficult to get behind a McGrady signing while feeling that he's not a true upgrade to the present roster, but another guy just fighting to carve out a role.
Odds of the Bulls signing McGrady? Slim. I can see it fitting financially, but I don't really see the fit on the court. McGrady hasn't created efficient offense for a long time, and the Bulls need players who can stretch the floor better.