Thoughts Behind Potential McGrady Trade

In the NY Times Larry Coon writes:

[Donnie] Walsh may have found a taker for [Jared] Jeffries, and it also appears that the price he has to pay to get Jeffries off the books is Jordan Hill. The trade, as reported by Yahoo, would send Jeffries, Hill and either Al Harrington or Larry Hughes to Houston for Tracy McGrady, Brian Cook and Joey Dorsey. Draft picks would also exchange hands, in the Rockets’ favor.

With an estimated $53 million cap next summer, the Knicks would stand to have as much as $31.5 million with which to pursue free agents [if this trade goes through]. The cream of the crop — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — can each sign for $16.57 million, so the Knicks can almost afford two of them. They would still be about $1.7 million short of making a maximum offer to two of these players.

But they would have options. One scheme would be to sign one of these players for the full $16.57 million and then pursue a player on the next rung down, like Atlanta’s Joe Johnson, who might sign for slightly less.

[...] they would also enter the 2010-11 season with Curry as an ending contract, and therefore as a more valuable trade commodity.

While it’s tough to trade a young player like Jordan Hill before you can fully determine his potential, it’s probably worth it for the added flexibility this summer.  However, word was that the Knicks partly wanted to get rid of Al Harrington so they could free some time up at the power forward spot for Jordan.  Trading them both would likely mean that either Gallo or, yikes, newcomer Brian Cook would split time at the PF slot.  While losing Jordan would be a bummer, the draft picks that Larry Coon briefly mentions sound like we’d be giving up a lot according to Brian Cronin at KnickerBlogger.com who says the trade would also include:

(and here’s the kicker) the right to swap 2011 first round picks, an unprotected 2012 first round pick and possibly a 2010 second round pick.

Due to the Eddy Curry trade/signing, we already lost a draft pick that turned into LaMarcus Aldridge, plus we’re gonna lose this year’s pick (which after we tear the team apart should make us rack up even more losses & guarantee us a top 5 pick). Cronin goes on to say:

Morey deserves a lot of credit for driving an extremely hard bargain, knowing that the Knicks are so desperate for that cap room that they’d give him pretty much anything he wanted.

If the Knicks go out and sign Lebron James and another MAX player like Wade or Bosh (or hell, just Lebron James and other good free agents like David Lee and, I dunno, Marcus Camby), then this trade is clearly a winner. But what are the odds of the Knicks getting the top free agents out there?

The local sportswriters are showering Walsh with praise over the possible deal, suggesting he should get Executive of the Year if the trade goes through, but be sure to ignore those fellows.

I’m with him, partly ‘cuz honestly Jared Jeffries has played rather well this year.  His defense has been great, and his three-point shooting has steadily improved.  Yes, he’s not quite a $7 million player, but for one year?  Particularly for the Rockets who appreciate glue guys like their own Shane Battier.

Personally, like Cronin, I think it’s highly unlikely we get Wade or LeBron, who are really the only game-changers out there.  Maybe we get a Bosh or Joe Johnson or A’m’a’r’e Stoudamire, but they only improve your team a bit, they don’t turn it into a potential title contender.  However, what could help make the trade worth it is the one thing that neither of these articles mentions: maybe McGrady can still be a good player.  Both of those treat him just as an expiring contract to be gotten rid of, but maybe the guy still has something left in the tank.  I believe he’s still only like 30, so he ain’t dead yet.  Sure, he ain’t gonna be the T-Mac of a few years ago who lead the league in scoring & legitimately was thought of as being in the same category as Kobe Bryant.  But what if he’s still solid?  Maybe a collection of Bosh, Joe Johnson, TMac, Wilson Chandler & Danilo Gallinari could be dangerous.  Let’s see if we get a chance to find out.

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Tags: Al Harrington Amar'e Stoudemire Atlanta Hawks Brian Cook Brian Cronin Chris Bosh Danilo Gallinari David Lee Donnie Walsh Dwayne Wade Eddy Curry Houston Rockets Jared Jeffries Joe Johnson Joey Dorsey Jordan Hill KnickerBlogger.com Kobe Bryant LaMarcus Aldridge Larry Coon Larry Hughes LeBron James Marcus Camby New York Times Tracy McGrady Wilson Chandler

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