Sunday, July 25, 2010
Updated: July 26, 11:18 AM ET
Source: Bulls prepared to add McGrady
By Marc Stein
The Bulls are prepared to sign Tracy McGrady if he proves to be sufficiently healthy in a workout Monday and can convince the team he is willing to accept a bench role, one source familiar with Chicago's thinking said Sunday.
"Nothing is done until it's done, but I expect the Bulls to sign McGrady later this week," the source said.
Another unknown is what kind of contract McGrady can command from the Bulls. But McGrady has said money and years are not priorities after earning nearly $23 million last season with Houston and New York.
Although he has expressed interest in snagging one of the spots on Miami's bench in support of the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh triumvirate and he auditioned for the Los Angeles Clippers last week, Chicago is undeniably where McGrady has been hoping to wind up.
McGrady made his desires evident in several recent messages on his Twitter feed, including his pronouncements Saturday that he has "unfinished business" with the Bulls and that it "could be fate this time round" with Chicago after drawing serious interest from the Bulls in the 1997 draft and again during free agency in 2000.
It obviously doesn't hurt McGrady's chances that Bulls star Derrick Rose told ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell on Friday that the idea of signing McGrady -- Rose's favorite player as a kid -- has his full support.
"That would be good," Rose said. "I think that if he comes along, he could help our team.
"A player like him, with his experience and how he plays, I think it would help us."
McGrady, 31, would be Chicago's sixth acquisition this offseason, joining Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and Kurt Thomas.
As ESPN.com reported earlier this week, McGrady's highly publicized trip to Los Angeles to work out for the Clippers was as much to nudge the Bulls closer to signing him as it was to try and impress L.A., which appears to no longer have an opening for McGrady after the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that the Clippers are bringing back Rasual Butler.
The seven-time All-Star was limited to 30 games last season in his recovery from microfracture surgery on his left knee. He averaged 9.4 points, 3.9 assists and 26.1 minutes in 24 starts for the Knicks, who acquired the two-time scoring champion from Houston in a three-way deal in February.
"He's good," Rose said. "He's a player. If he just gives us half of what he's got, we'll be all right.
"But I know a player like him, he's going to go out there and give us his all, but he'll definitely help us if we get him on the team."
ESPN.com also reported last week that Miami is hesitant to sign high-profile names like McGrady or Shaquille O'Neal for its bench, preferring low-key additions whom won't complicate the overhauled Heat's quest for fast-developing chemistry or encroach on the James/Wade/Bosh spotlight.
Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.