After the jump we continue on with the second part of our interview with Pree's thoughts on the Jason Kidd, Pau Gasol, and Tracy McGrady trade rumors. You don't want to miss it!
Golden State of Mind: Future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd has been in the rumor mill for over a year now, but nothing has yet to materialize. Kidd will be 35 by the end of the season and has a lot of mileage, but like fine wine he seems to only get better with age. He's a nightly triple double threat and it looks like he'll be more than worth the price of his expensive contract that runs through 2009/2010. Is this the year the Nets finally trade their franchise savior? Are there any teams in particular that you've heard are trying hard to make a run at this superstar PG?
Preetom Bhattacharya: I don't think Kidd is going anywhere until the summer, at which point the team can figure out what direction they want to go in. Frankly, the Nets seemingly priced themselves out by asking for so much in return for Kidd. I don't think anyone is going to match the price the Nets are asking for - young talent, draft picks, expiring contracts. Basically, they want a KG deal. Not going to happen.
The usual suspects have had reported interest. Denver reportedly threw the idea of an Iverson swap, but that didn't get far. Dallas and the Lakers have been mentioned, but I think that's just media fodder. The Lakers could put a package together that might work, but it'll come down to Andrew Bynum all over again, and they've been through that once with the Nets (last trade deadline).
Golden State of Mind: Pau Gasol is another big name player who has been on the trading block for over a year. He's still putting up nice numbers that few big men can reach, but the Grizzlies still aren't winning and from a distance it doesn't seem he would mind a trade. Are the Grizzlies actively shopping him around right now? Are there any teams that are actively trying to trade for him? Are the Warriors in the mix for him? Do you think Gasol would be a nice addition to this team?
Preetom Bhattacharya: Pau's numbers are actually not as good as they used to be, which may indicate that he's still learning Iavaroni's uptempo Phoenix-East system. All indications are, though, that he isn't being shopped and the Grizzlies aren't interested in just slashing salaries and holding a firesale. At least, that's what the Grizzlies people are saying, and I tend to believe them - a nice mix of Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol might be a great combo soon.
Three teams have been linked to Gasol - Atlanta, Charlotte, and New Jersey have all had reported interest in the Spaniard.
In any case, I do think Gasol would be an interesting fit, but I don't know how well it would work out. His numbers are down in an uptempo system as it is, so I don't know if Nellieball would work for him. However, he would give the Warriors an added dimension in the halfcourt set and that'd be awesome - the Warriors would be able to play the uptempo and the half court game. I don't know if there would be a better offensive team in the league. Paired up with Biedrins, the two would be interesting, but it's not going to happen, so let's just end the dream now.
Golden State of Mind: The Rockets are struggling and TMac is injured again. He's called out his teammates for not stepping up when he gets double teamed and for the first time, there seem to be rumblings out of Houston that he's unhappy with the situation. Is this just TMac being frustrated or do you think he would welcome a trade? We saw what he did in Orlando when he was unhappy and if he's sincere about his displeasure in Houston, is it possible that the Rockets trade away Tmac by the trading deadline?
Preetom Bhattacharya: Tracy McGrady's desire has never matched his skills. In Toronto, then coach Darrell Walker gave a young McGrady a permanent seat in his doghouse for what he interpreted as a bad attitude as he complained about McGrady's work ethic, going so far as to saying that he wouldn't last two years in the League. When McGrady landed in Orlando, questions about his work ethic continued as his new coach, Doc Rivers said "from the get-go in Orlando, playing with intensity has always been a big problem for Tracy, both in ballgames and in practice." A teammate in Orlando said that "instead of busting his butt on defense, Tracy likes to take short cuts; he gambles and cheats so much that he puts the rest of us in jeopardy." Horace Grant, a veteran brought to the team for his leadership reflected that "Tracy [was] only 23, and his competitive nature [was] still maturing."
"But time is running out. If Tracy doesn't learn to play all out all the time within the next two years, then it'll be too late," continued Grant. "Nothing gets unfixable as quickly as bad habits."
Those habits weren't fixed. His old GM in Orlando, John Weisbrod, mentioned McGrady's lack of work ethic - quitting on an Orlando team that had only won 21 games in 2003-2004 for the last month of the season and "slacking off" and not attending practices. McGrady even later admitted that he did not give 100% during the 2003-2004 season.
During that season, McGrady questioned what the Magic still had to play for. "I hated losing," McGrady said, "but it just got to the point where we were losing so much, you kind of get use to it. Going into games it was like, 'Oh, we're going to lose, so let's just get it over with.'" A rumor spread league-wide that when a trainer was examining McGrady's left knee and asked him where it hurt, McGrady answered "where do you want it to hurt?"
Frankly, I don't care what TMac wants - his reputation seemingly precedes him and I doubt anyone really wants to deal with him at this point. Would T-Mac want a trade? Probably, just so he can get a fresh start all over again. Does he deserve it? No, and I doubt anyone gives him a chance for it either.
Be on the look out for the final part of our Q&A!
Feel free to leave some follow up questions and thoughts in the comments for Pree. If he has time and your follow up thoughts are well researched and thought out, he'll try to get to them. Please be respectful of our guest and make sure to give our brother that golden treatment!