Stephen A. Smith reports that the Atlanta Hawks have agreed to a one-year deal with Tracy McGrady for, natch, the veteran's minimum. McGrady's physical decline and his accompanying, increasingly impotent on-court performance makes me feel sad and old. And now he's a Hawk.
Let's go down the Hawks' free agent checklist...
Old? 32 years worth, not counting the history of back and knee problems.
A recognizable name? Yes, though signing McGrady represents something of a breakthrough for the Hawks as he's recognizable for being a once great basketball player rather than going to high school or college in Atlanta or being the nephew of the city's greatest professional basketball player.
Little reason for optimism evident in his recent performance record? Yes. McGrady had something of a bounce-back season, more due to how horrific his 2009-10 season was than anything special he achieved in 2010-11.
Tracy McGrady scored at a lower rate than Marvin Williams last season. McGrady set a career low in usage rate and a career high in turnover rate. He's no sort of replacement for Jamal Crawford and I say that as one who thinks Jamal Crawford shouldn't be replaced in a straight like-for-like (but cheaper) exchange. Maybe McGrady is a better* option at the 2 than Damien Wilkins when Larry Drew wants to go big and McGrady will certainly out-rebound Crawford (and probably Joe Johnson, too), but any positive contributions from McGrady will constitute more of a feel good story than reasonable expectations, like playing a little better than Damien Wilkins, being met.
*Optimism alert: The Pistons were measurably less bad defensively with McGrady on the court last season and he made box score defensive plays at something approaching his career rate.