Get used to seeing this, Pistons’ fans. Let’s see Arnie work some magic on these old knees.
If you thought the Pistons’ roster was loaded with wing players prior to the signing of Tracy McGrady, well, it’s even worse now. I’ll be the 35,739th Piston fan who has questioned this move since finding out about it, and I’m likely not the only person who has taken the 96 available minutes between the SG and SF positions and tried to find a way for all of our wings to play.
Honestly guys, I can’t find anything positive about this move. McGrady is a 7 time NBA All Star, he is a scoring champion, he is able to create his own shot, and he has the size to play both the SG and SF positions while also possessing the ball handling abilities to play PG on occasion. What I also know is the team has used a mid first round pick on a small forward (Austin Daye) and 2 second round picks on small forward/power forward hybrids in Jonas Jerebko and DaJuan Summers. Let’s say the acquisition of McGrady runs Summers out of town, you’re still left with Tayshaun Prince/McGrady/Daye/Jerebko. Dumars has also used draft picks on Terrico White while there were other big men available in the draft this year.
(Let’s be honest with ourselves folks, unless Jerebko puts on about 25 lbs. of muscle, he’s not a power forward. At best he’s a tweener who is better suited for playing power forward because he lacks the overall foot speed to keep up with small forwards on the defensive end of the floor).
I am not pleased at all with this pick up. So he comes in and plays well? What happens next? The Pistons use whatever cap space they have next year to re-sign him? He has 0 value on the trade market because if he plays above his contract value, he will only return the veteran’s minimum in contract unless we package him with a “bad” contract. Even then he has limited value because who ever acquires him would not retain his “bird rights” going into the offseason, so they would be stuck paying him a portion of their mid-level exception and/or a significant chunk of their available cap space for a then 32 year old SG/SF who has lost explosion off the dribble and who has a history of injuries.
It’s easy to argue “We gave Chucky Atkins the minimum”, but Chucky Atkins is a veteran point guard who has come off the bench before and who could also, and say what you want about it, serve as a mentor for the younger point guards on the roster. McGrady started to break down again last season when the Knicks played him heavy minutes after they acquired him.
Right now, this roster has even less balance than it had before. Without another move in mind, or agreed to in principle, this move makes absolutely 0 sense. The guy is a talented player, in 2003. Right now, he’s just going to eat minutes from guys who need them to get experience and/or he’s taking up a roster spot from a big man who the team so desperately needs.
Evidently Joe Dumars’ answer for our post problems is Chris Wilcox and Ben Wallace. Monroe is there but, if McGrady is coming in and taking minutes from Daye then who’s to say that Wilcox won’t be taking minutes from Monroe?