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As Bulls Strongly Consider Adding Tracy McGrady, Questions Linger

Steve Aschburner of NBA.com has heard the rumors about Tracy McGrady’s bid to return to NBA relevance with the Chicago Bulls—rumors which he attributes to “the calendar and pro sports’ determination to squeeze the last bit of pulp out of any orange”—and isn’t convinced McGrady can help one of the East’s rising powers:

Bulls guard Derrick Rose is in favor of signing McGrady, telling ESPNChicago.com, “That would be good. … A player like him, with his experience and how he plays, I think it would help us.” But Rose, 21, is speaking like the young fella who thrilled to McGrady’s highlights back in the day — back in the ’00s.

Aschburner cites the negative influence McGrady could have over Rose (“Chicago needs Rose asserting, not deferring,” he says), the way McGrady’s presence would take time away from new free-agent signee Ronnie Brewer, the fact that McGrady doesn’t offer veteran leadership, and his poor reputation as a defender as reasons for the Bulls to avoid him. He also questions McGrady’s potential role:

In late-game situations, it’s Rose or Carlos Boozer or, if they’re down three, Kyle Korver, whom the Bulls want taking the shots.

These concerns are all fair ones to raise, given how sharply McGrady has declined in the last several seasons.