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Central Division Competition For 12th Men!

Or: How the Bulls and Cavs are trying to steal a bunch of marginal players the C’s likely won’t sign anyway!

• The Cavaliers worked out both Damien Wilkins and Von Wafer Tuesday. The C’s have reportedly kicked the tires on both guys as possible back-ups to Ray Allen/Paul Pierce, though both are better suited to playing the two.

• The Bulls have talked about signing Eddie House, according to Eddie House’s agent, who previously told the Globe that the Celtics have also talked about signing Eddie House. Do you get the feeling Eddie House’s agent is trying to generate a bit more interest in his client?

The C’s decision to re-sign Nate Robinson makes the return of Eddie unlikely. The C’s do need three-point shooting, though, so you might be interested to know Chicago has also discussed Keith Bogans and Roger Mason Jr., according to the ESPN Chicago report linked above.

• And then there’s the pesky matter of Tracy McGrady….

T-Mac looked physically healthy during his workout for Chicago on Monday, but his mental health might be a different matter. T-Mac said each of the following things, and he was apparently being serious (via ESPN.com):

“I think, yeah, if I was the player that I was in a Knicks uniform [at the end of last season], I would have no problem coming off the bench. But I’ve worked extremely hard and I’m far from being that player. Trust me.

“It’s up to me in training camp,” McGrady continued, “to prove I’m a starter.”


“Without me, without Boozer, they’re a .500 ball club,” McGrady said. “And with the guys that they added, if they add me, I think we’ll be 30 points better. I think we’ll be a better defensive team with Thibodeau, who I played with for three years [in Houston]. So [the Bulls] have a really good chance of being good. The city should be excited about this team.”

Thirty points better? Without “me” and “Boozer”? As if the two acquisitions, one of which has yet to happen, are equivalent or near-equivalent things?

Egads. These sorts of comments are part of the reason Tracy McGrady does not have a job yet. They don’t concern me as much as his always inefficient shooting and the godawful defense he played last season in New York, but add an arrogant stubbornness to declining athleticism?

I’ll pass.

  • Evan

    Maybe he’s more willing to take a back up role backing up our players than the Bull’s.

  • Jay P


    Sure, that makes perfectly logical sense. Oh wait, except that it doesn’t.

  • Perry

    True enough Zach. If McGrady had the goods why would he be pulling an Adam Morrision stunt by staging these individual workouts?

    Actually a more pertinent issue has the Bulls reaching out to Fernandez. The Celts are mentioned in the mix, but if it comes down to money I would do everything possible to out bid Riensdorf since it might take more than a number one. Easier said than done since the Bulls are loaded at the wing and still have assets and cap space.

    If Rose ticks his gane up any higher the Bulls are a force, and maybe the team to beat in the east.

  • C2k

    FYI. Sims has been invited to camp. Maybe he will show much energy than Daniels


  • Keith Popsicle

    Wow. At one point, this seemed like an easy question, but based on the quote above, I’m not so sure, so I’ll ask:

    Who has squandered his talent/career and goodwill most? T-Mac or his cousin Vinsanity?

  • Jeff


  • CsFanInArkansas

    The Bulls have Joakim Noah in their starting lineup…as long as that situation remains the same, they will not be the team to beat in the East.

  • Derek

    hey thibodeau said he respects tmacs basketball iq so i wouldn’t take what he is saying lightly. maybe he was still struggling to recover from his knee injury last year, not to mention the fact that he barely played until he got to new york. if tmac is even a shadow of his former self then im scared. i wouldnt take him lightly, 31 years old isnt THAT old

  • Jeff

    @ Derek

    Neither is 24 but just ask Shaun Livingston what a knee injury can do to your career.

    I’m not saying TMAC’s injury is nearly as bad but still 31 with a knee injury is still pretty bad. He may get back to part of his previous form but even that won’t help the Bulls.

    Boozer – Injury prone
    Noah – Not that good
    Brewer – Good bench guy, definitely not a starter
    Korver – One trick Poney
    Deng – real good but REAL injury prone
    Rose – Good PG but not great shooter

    Actually, pound for pound Mil is the better team in that division right now.

    We’ll see but Jennings, Salmons, Maggette, Gooden and Bogut scare me more. Skiles is no slouch either and as much as I love Thibs, with a new team and totally new job, he’s gonna have some gowing pains.

    Bulls=5th seed, maybe 6th

    1) MIA
    2) BOS
    3) ORL
    4) MIL
    5) ATL
    6) CHI
    7) NY
    8) CHA

  • Perry


    I don’t agree with your logic at all. Used to be I dismissed Noah, but not anymore. Any way you slice it Chicago is having a terrific off season thus far. But I do think your pecking order deserves a comment. Last season it was all about being healthy for the playoffs — and not staying ahead of Atlanta who nabbed the 3 seed. I don’t think they can repeat history or work off that template again. The Eastern Conference is loaded. So more attention should be given to the regular season because you’re right; the Celts want that 2 or 3 seed since it’s more than likely Miami and Orlando will knock heads in the south. Celts need that better record to catapult ahead of whomever loses the south or the central because baring injury the Bulls and Deer are likely 50+ win teams.



  • Josh A

    @Zach, I don’t want Eddie on the team, what do you think about it?

  • Sean

    I’m reserving judgment on McGrady until the season starts and we see him play some basketball. According to some article I read a long time ago, when T-Mac entered the rehab/training facilities in Chicago, he couldn’t hold a plank.

    Read that last sentence again: Tracy McGrady, a man who once averaged 32 ppg in a single season, did not have the core strength to hold a plank. They said his muscles weren’t properly balanced and that he was in general just not in good shape. My guess is, if he actually has been working his butt off as he claims, he will be AT LEAST more consistent than in NY, and odds are a more capable player in general.

    Not sure where the hate comes from. I’m also pretty sure 30 points better is what we in the academic community call hyperbole. The same as Paul Pierce saying he’s the best shooter in the world.

  • Keith Popsicle

    You’re out of your element, DONNIE.

  • frank

    McGrady has always been an arrogant jerk – but having read about his workouts he could actually be a player again. But yeah, he’s an idiot.

  • will

    bulls are gonna be nice next year
    Noah- think rich man’s varejao and a nasty rebounder/ shotblocker/ defender
    Booz- finally a low post option who can put up 20-10 and spread the floor with his mid range J
    Deng- a solid scorer/ athlete who can defend and he’s a great transition guy
    T-Mac- haha his comment was funny but he was not in shape last year huffin up the court, but if he is in shape, he can be a dub digit scorer who can play some point forward. and in tibs system, bad defenders do become average if they buy in.
    Rose- top 5 point in my opinion and rumor is he’s comfortable shooting the three now… scary
    Korver- one of the best shooters out there with surprisingly decent D
    Brewer- a good defender who picks up lots of scrap points and who can hit the mid J
    CJ Watson- replacement for hinrich as a guy who’s quick, can score, and set the tempo
    Gibson- had a great rookie season and should be a good energy/ defender/rebounder at the big spot
    Thomas- a veteran center who can hit the midrange J and play some great post D
    Thats a 10 man rotation and T-Mac can easily be replaced by Korver or Brewer who have both been starters for Philly and Utah resepectively.

  • Perry

    @Josh A

    With all due respect to Eddie, why would anyone want him back since he was dealt for a guy who was just re-signed giving us 3 guards under 6′ 3″, including a spot up shooter in Ray Allen?

  • celtics freak


    but what if we dnt get rudy,then we will need eddie

  • Patrick

    The man is saying that obviously he’s way better than he was last season after he has been training all summer. His knee is all the way or close to being healed. He just wants to show he’s got what it takes to be a dominant player again. He may not be who he was a decade ago but he’s still good. If the bulls are going to reject him because he’s confident in how his training has been going then maybe thats why they don’t really have anybody now. Except Boozer.

  • Eric

    Perhaps T-Mac meant 30 ‘basis’ points better? :)

  • http://www.truecloud.com Dave

    TMAC’s attitude would create another soap opera in Chicago like what transpired last year with Memphis when the Griz made a similar gamble on Iverson. And it could happen were Shaq to wind up in beantown also.

    These former great, gignatic ego types of guys don’t get the fact that contending teams aren’t going to build around them any longer.

    Instead they’re going to have to do what other veteran’s do, which is the FIFO rule.

    Fit in or F___Off!

  • Nick

    With regards to T-Mac’s knee injury it has been well reported that the type of surgery he had takes roughly 2 years to be fully recovered from. Whilst I do not believe he will ever go abck to being the old T-mac even a healthy 31 year old T-mac is still a big upgrade over what the bulls currently have.

  • rudy

    well we have to wait and see cuz in ny he was coming off the surgery and it take a full year to recover and he still had a couple good games overall i think by mid season i can see him if starting averaging about not the high old t-mac numbers but assist and i would say 15 to 22 ppg and 4 rebounds 5to6dishes

  • Shooter

    But y’all missing the point, like Lindsay Lohan misses prison cells.
    T-Mac wants to be a “STARTER”.And he still thinks he can drop 30(thereabouts) a night,i don’t know what’s funnier that or Bron and Bosh saying they didn’t know where they were going till the last minute.
    That’s ridiculous, if he wasn’t fiending for a top 3-4 conference team maybe he’d be making sense.No way is T-Mac better than Brewer at this point and no way will Thibs be even pondering that thought for a fraction of a millisecond,of starting T-Mac over Brewer.
    I’m actually shocked T-Mac said those things.
    Behold, it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a former all star to come off the bench.

  • Jon

    Hey Zach any word on how long till we know one way or another about Shaq? Im just curiou because I keep checking day to day hoping to see that he signed…

  • justin

    does anybody really give a shit who wins from the east as long as they beat kobe and the lakers!!!!!! i can’t stomach another 3peat for kobe..makes me throw up in my mouth just thinking about it

  • Shooter

    My bad…did i say former all star,i meant past,declining all star in denial.

  • jeff

    hey shooter,you are one funny dude!ronnie brewer with all his allstar apperances,and his vastly offensive skills,couldnt,and never will be as great a player as tmac.your talking about a 2 time scoring champ,a lifetime 21.9 scoring ave,and playoff ave of 28.9.the 3rd highest of all time behind only micheal jordan,and allen iverson.ron brewer can only defend the ball,and his game is no were near tmacs game ,even at tmacs game in decline.tmac is a great creator,a streak shooter,he can play 3 positions,and i would take him .on 1 bad leg,over 2 good legs of brewers any day.and ,finally if brewer is so good how come the jazz let him go so easliy.end of story.

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