T-Mac: Knicks took big steps forward

Knicks president Donnie Walsh may still be kicking himself for the Tracy McGrady trade he made last season, in which he surrendered a 2012 first-round draft pick that could have been used in a deal with Denver for Carmelo Anthony.

But McGrady says Walsh shouldn't be too hard on himself. McGrady, who signed a one-year, $1.35 deal with the Pistons after a brief stint with the Knicks in 2009-10, says Walsh has the team headed in the right direction.

"For so long, they were the laughingstock of the NBA. But I think [Walsh] is taking some big steps forward," McGrady told ESPNNewYork.com prior to Detriot's shootaround at the Prudential Center in Newark on Wednesday morning. "[Signing] Amare [Stoudemire] was definitely a big step. I think they've got a nice, young nucleus over there as far as talent and it's going to be interesting to see where they finish up. I definitely think they'll be a lot better than they were last year."

McGrady averaged 9.4 points and 3.9 assists in 24 games with the Knicks. The seven-time All-Star said he never engaged in any discussion with Walsh about returning to the Knicks this season.