Knicks coach sees no future with McGrady
Though the final decision belongs to Knicks team president Donnie Walsh,
coach Mike D’Antoni feels it would be prudent to move on without Tracy
McGrady next season, according to team sources.
D’Antoni has seen McGrady labor for 21 games, averaging 8.5 points, 3.3
rebounds and 3.3 assists.
And last night McGrady, who said he experienced swelling in his left knee for the first time this season, was shut down by the medical staff at halftime after looking miserable — 1-for-4, three points — in the Knicks’ 128-117 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.
David Lee (37 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists) had the first triple-double for the Knicks (26-49) since Latrell Sprewell had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a double overtime win over the Magic on Feb. 28, 2003. Lee also became the first player to have at least 30 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 35, 20 and 12 against the Warriors on March 5, 1976.
The team source said D’Antoni feels McGrady has too far to go in his comeback to be counted on next season as an important piece of a rotation the coach expects to be massively improved.
If the Knicks sign a wing player with a maximum contract, either LeBron James or Joe Johnson, re-signing McGrady as a rotation player, even at the $1.9 million veteran minimum’s salary, seems highly doubtful because of his injury risk.
D’Antoni denied he has ruled out McGrady for next season, saying it is too early to predict next season’s roster with too many unknown factors because of their massive amount of cap space. D’Antoni acknowledged McGrady is not a priority, however. When McGrady joined the club in February, D’Antoni expected him to be their best player.