Remember when Tracy McGrady was incredible and everyone wanted a piece of his junk? These days, it’s like the total opposite of that.
A source with knowledge of Monday’s talks said the Rockets would have allowed McGrady to stay, but the guard thought he’d be too much of a distraction to the team.
McGrady is making a league-high $23 million in the final year of his contract, and won’t be easy to trade given his large salary and how little teams have seen him play this season. Rival teams say the Rockets are willing to take back long-term money for the right trade with McGrady, but no deal appears imminent. Talks could pick up closer to the trade deadline in February when cost-cutting franchises may be more attracted to McGrady’s expiring contract.
It’s really not McGrady’s declining skills or Mr. Glass-esque constitution that must be keeping teams away from trading for him so much as it is his insane contract. $23 million for one year? Jordan made $35 million in one year, but that was back when he was Michael Jordan. It’s all about money and contracts in the NBA, and the Rockets are going to have a hard time finding a team who’s willing to pay that kind of money this season.
And let’s not kid ourselves – any team that trades for McGrady isn’t doing so with the hopes that he can play ball at the same level he was playing about five years ago. It’ll be strictly to pay McGrady $23 million and then have the money come off the books the following year, freeing up space for Chris Bosh or something.
I wish McGrady well, but with his expiring contract, he’s officially entered the Theo Ratliff/Raef Lafrentz status of player. So maybe the Nets?