Supposing the Sacramento Kings do in fact snare Tracy McGrady (the trade is not yet official) in a deal involving Kevin Martin and Carl Landry, there’s a distinct possibility that the Kings could cut McGrady loose via a contract buyout. After all, Sacramento is a young, growing team that needs to give playing time to the developing pieces of their roster, not an aged scorer who has seen the court little this season.
The Kings would obviously look to flip McGrady before the deadline or include another team (such as the Knicks) in their already structured trade; doing so would save Sacramento the money owed to McGrady through a potential buyout, and hopefully bring back a few assets (draft picks, young prospects) as well. According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, if McGrady and the Kings do eventually come to terms on a buyout, he hopes to latch on with the favorites for the Eastern or Western Conference crown: the Cavaliers or the Lakers.
It’s unclear exactly what McGrady can offer from a basketball standpoint, but he’d be best served in a reserve role given his lack of in-game conditioning and play against NBA-caliber competition. That could make both the Lakers and Cavaliers interesting fits for him, particularly the latter; while McGrady’s skill-set has obvious redundancies with Lamar Odom’s (not to mention McGrady’s nonexistent familiarity with L.A.’s triangle offense), T-Mac could offer an interesting alternative for the Cavs when LeBron needs a breather. As a long, tall small forward capable of making plays, McGrady could wind up as a decidedly less dominant but certainly usefl counterpart to LeBron in Cleveland’s rotation.
That is, if the Cavaliers, or the Lakers for that matter, are interested in McGrady at all.