McGrady says his future is tied to Carter's

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The Independent Online

Tracy McGrady, worried the National Basketball Association wants Vince Carter in a US city, won't re-sign with Toronto this summer if his Raptors teammate doesn't promise he'll sign a long term deal with the team.

"I think the league wants a guy like Vince Carter in the States," McGrady said Tuesday. "A team like Chicago, a big media market.

"I don't know what Vince wants to do, but when his two years are up I don't want to be wondering whether he's going to stay or not. I have to know up front."

Along with Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs and Grant Hill of the Detroit Pistons, McGrady will be one of the most sought after free agents this summer.

The Raptors, who reached the playoffs for the first time this season and were swept by the New York Knicks, will likely offer McGrady the maximum $87 million over seven years. Any other team can offer him as much as $68 million over six years.

The Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic both have significant cap room, and they are expected to make a strong pitch for "the best 20-year-old basketball player in the world" as Toronto coach Butch Carter calls McGrady.

McGrady said he hasn't asked Carter, his cousin, if wants to stay.

"We are going to talk," McGrady said. "I need some promises and guarantees."

Carter, who said he's happy in Toronto, said he won't advise McGrady unless he's asked.

"I don't want to be the one to put it in his head, when maybe he's not happy," Carter said. "I don't talk to him about it, and I'm not going to. That's too much of a headache for me. ... If he ever asks for my opinion, then maybe."

Carter, meanwhile, won't be an unrestricted free agent after his third season in the NBA. The Raptors can keep Carter, who completed his second season, for at least three more years because of the new collective bargaining agreement.

"Tracy's agents know the situation with Vince, so I don't have to hammer that point to them," said Toronto general manager Glen Grunwald, who met with McGrady on Tuesday.

McGrady averaged 15.7 points and 6.3 rebounds a game last season and had 151 blocked shots.