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Hawks sign old-man McGrady to one-year deal

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The Atlanta Hawks' signing of ultra-veteran Tracy McGrady sends out mixed signals.

On the encouraging side for Hawks Nation:

--The Atlanta Spirit, the reluctant team ownership group, showed it will not stand pat and is willing to spend (a little) money, McGrady costing about $1.4 million, the minimum for a 15th-year man;

--McGrady brings name recognition to a roster that could use some;

--The team can fall back on a veteran backup if free agent Jamal Crawford exits.

On the darker side:

--McGrady, beset by injuries, could not even crack the pathetic Pistons' lineup last year and averaged just eight points. A decade has passed since his MVP season;

--With depth shaping up as the biggest concern, a younger, healthier alternative is preferable;

--The acquisition suggests that the Hawks are resigned to losing Crawford.

If McGrady can halt, or reverse, creeping middle age, he will become a bargain.

Big "if."

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