Jazz Reportedly Got Trigger-Shy in Tracy McGrady-Andrei Kirilenko Trade Talks

Richard O'NealSenior Analyst IJuly 5, 2009

MILWAUKEE - FEBRUARY 09: Tracy McGrady #1 of the Houston Rockets watches as a teammate shoots a free-throw against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 9, 2009 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks defeated the Rockets 124-112. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agreees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

In an unexpected turn of events, it was reported today that the Houston Rockets almost had a deal in place that would have sent injured Rockets All-Star Tracy McGrady to the Utah Jazz for small forward Andrei Kirilenko.

It was confirmed and reported by both teams, but, apparently, the Jazz backed out of the talks due to McGrady's "health situation" and "contract status."

What's funny is that the Jazz were well aware of both before the talks began. 

According to Tim Buckley of the Deseret News, the trade talks were even a surprise to Kirilenko's agent, Marc Fleisher.

"I know nothing about it," said Fleisher. "I haven't heard from anybody in the Jazz office that they're going to trade Andrei...They've given me no indication of that."

Obviously, since McGrady is due to make $23 million in his last contract year with the Rockets and Kirilenko is set to make $16.4 million next year and $17.8 million in the 2010-11 season, the Jazz would have to include another player or two in order to match up with McGrady's hefty salary. This move could also save the Jazz up to $18 million in two years by dumping off Kirilenko's contract.

The move could be called questionable at best because McGrady doesn't seem like the type of player that would mesh well with Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan's hard-nose style and the team's philosophy. The Jazz have also been fierce playoff rivals over the years with the Rockets, having eliminated the Rockets in both the 2007 and 2008 playoff series. 

Although trade talks have ended, for right now at least, what would this move show for Houston?