Tracy McGrady has agreed to a one-year, $1.3M contract with the Detroit Pistons, where he will continue his 14-year push for an NBA Championship exit out of the first round.
And with the summer of 2010 coming to a close, so do the hopes of McGrady. The once fan-favorite scoring champion entered the free agent market with high hopes and expectations. He saw a future in Chicago, he had options in Los Angeles. Heck, Cleveland, who was looking for a savior of some sort, even looked at McGrady.
But after several workouts, Chicago traded for CJ Watson instead. The Clippers resigned Rasual Butler and the Lakers were not interested. He lasted one workout with the Cavs before they passed, and a reunion with the Knicks was out of the question. McGrady began considering retirement.
Aside from his phenomenal days as a player, aside from his heart, aside from the national media's skewed perception of him in recent years, the story of McGrady is a sad one.
Back when he arrived in Houston, experts assumed McGrady would resign for another max contract in the summer of 2010, or at least something close. After turning 31 this past May, he was supposed to be an NBA champion with the Houston Rockets; a dynasty built around him and Yao Ming.
But now he will be riding the bench with Austin Daye and Jason Maxiell, fighting for playing time on a last place team.
Detroit went 27-55 last year. They were not major players in the free agent market, and their 2010-11 season will likely find itself somewhere in next year's lottery.
As a person with a semi-decent heart, I hope McGrady gets traded. I hope he goes to a winner. But, above all else, I hope he proves he can play, because not one playoff caliber team gave him a chance.