Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks

Report: Tracy McGrady finalizing deal to play in China


Tracy McGrady was looking for another year in the NBA, a 16th NBA season.

But not finding a guaranteed deal, he is taking his talents to the port city of Qingdao, China, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

McGrady, 33, will likely complete the deal within the next couple days and leave for China within the next one to two weeks, sources said. McGrady’s long-time partnership with former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming made McGrady a popular player in China, and he’ll be afforded star status there.

As Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith (among others) did last year, the Chinese Basketball Association ending in March allows McGrady to come back as a free agent at the end of the season and latch on with a team.

If a team wants him. He’ll need to show it with his play. Last year with the Hawks McGrady barely played 16 minutes a game and averaged 6.3 points a game. He no longer has the explosive athleticism that so long defined his game, but he still brings some veteran presence to a locker room.

Looks like Donovan to keep Andre Roberson, Steven Adams as starters

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder
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Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.

But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start  Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.

There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.

Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….

Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.

This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.

If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88

Harry Gallatin
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The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.

Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.