Monday, June 23, 2008

Wish List: McGrady to Detroit

I'm not a Rockets fan and I'm not from Detroit, so I probably like both Tracy McGrady and the Pistons more than I should. To me, the former has been underappreciated for his evolution as a player simply because the winning part hasn't fallen into place, while the latter has been unfairly critized for not winning more (if you told any NBA team entering the 2003 season that they could go to six straight Conference Finals, two NBA Finals, and win a ring, I'm pretty sure they would have taken it). So, of course, I think we should pair them up. Maybe McGrady gets the ever deserving Joe Dumars another ring and maybe the Pistons can be the franchise that rids McGrady's 800-pound playoff gorilla forever.

Oh, and it makes sense from a basketball standpoint as well. Consider the following deal:

Houston sends Tracy McGrady and Steve Francis to Detroit for Rip Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace.

For the Rockets, they could solve their most overlooked problem - which is that they have two small forwards in the starting lineup - by playing Hamilton at his natural 2 position and keeping Battier at the three. Meanwhile, they could add Sheed to the starting lineup at power forward and provide the perfect (and I mean perfect) compilment to Yao in the middle. Seriously, can you think of a better option than Wallace in a contract year? If any team actually needs his strange brand of intensity, it is Houston. And his inside-outside game, shot blocking, and athleticism are the exact things the Rockets need to buttress Yao with in the frontcourt. The Rockets could make a full scale assault on a title next year with Alston, Hamilton, Battier, Sheed, and Yao in the starting lineup. Seriously, that group can win the whole thing.

As for the Pistons, this is the chance to finally bring a guy who can create his own offense when things get stagnant and introduce a supremely talented passer into the mix. Detroit has featured good ball movement over their six-year run, but they've been able to get by without putting a single dominant passer on the floor. On the other hand, McGrady is arguably the most underrated passer in the league and a guy with very unique skills for his position. Plus, he's due, right?

Things aren't as simple on the Pistons side of this trade, because McGrady would join Tayshaun Prince as natural small forwards on the roster. However, since both players are so versatile, Detroit would have some options. They could go small (Billups, Stuckey, McGrady, Prince, and McDyess), big (Billups, McGrady, Prince, McDyess, and Maxiell), or make another move (Tayshaun has quite a bit of value) to fetch a big man.

Yes, yes. I like this trade. Let's make it happen, people.

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Anonymous said...

when i started reading this, i thought "youre crazy, no way Houston would give up McGrady for anyone short of Kobe". after reading it, i must say that this is a well thought out piece and the rockets could def benefit from it...