In case you haven't heard, seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady has been cleared to take an indefinite leave from the Houston Rockets. Both McGrady and the front office of the Houston Rockets have agreed that trading Tracy is the best option for both parties.
Tracy McGrady returned to NBA action on December 15. Since then, the former all-star guard averaged 3.2 points and 1.0 assists in just 7.7 minutes per game this season. After six games, McGrady asked head coach Rick Adelman whether he would get increase minutes in near future. Adelman told McGrady that his minutes would not improve.
Adelman obvious felt that McGrady wasn't ready to have increased minutes and didn't want him to risk messing up his team's chemistry. Adelman became increasingly clear that he didn't believe McGrady fit the Rockets' up-tempo style.
"I don't think the explosiveness was there," Adelman said. "He didn't get to the basket like he used to, he didn't have that first step where he could blow by people. It wasn't unexpected to me, but we don't know what timetable he has or if it's going to come back."
T-Mac, highest paid player in the NBA this season(close 23 million), is now on the trading block.
We do know that McGrady has just came from major knee surgery that few has come back from and stayed the same player they were before the surgery.
We do know that McGrady has a huge expiring contract that any team would want especially for with this particular free agent class which includes LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Stoudermire, Dirk, etc.
We do know that regardless if McGrady is past his prime or still in his prime, he could flat out score the basketball and is a decent playmaker.
With that in consideration, which teams would want his services?
The Knicks and Warriors may just want McGrady because of his contract. Yet neither has the pieces to trade for McGrady that may satisfy the Rockets as well as keeping key players on their teams.
The Hornets is another team that could use McGrady because of his scoring ability as his production on the offensive end may be enough to unload some pressure off of Paul. Problem is, the Hornets already have their own financial issues and trading for T-Mac may mean that they must trade one of their centerpieces.
Utah and Cleveland may be willing to take a chance on McGrady so that each team can increase their chances on getting an NBA ring this season. Unfortunately, both have to trade away a great portion of their supporting cast to get a player that they are not sure is still the superstar he has been for the better part of this past decade.
So that leaves us with the Philadelphia 76ers. A team that is fighting for a playoff spot in the East.
The 76ers are 8-22 entering into Tuesday and four games out of the eight spot in the Eastern Conference.
Earlier this month, the 76ers resign their longtime hero and superstar, Allen Iverson.
For months, both McGrady and Iverson has been talked about being out their primes. People felt that A.I could only score and that he has lost a step. People has also talked about Iverson's unwillingness to come off the bench and change his style of play to benefit a team's need.
Also, T-Mac and A.I has often been compared over the past few months. Questions like "Who has more left in the tank: McGrady or Iverson", "Which aging star is a better fantasy player: McGrady or Iverson", or " Which player would you rather have on your team: McGrady or Iverson?"
From 00-01 season to the 03-04 season, either Iverson or McGrady has led the league in scoring. Aside from Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady are the only players this decade to lead the league in scoring multiple times.
For many years in the early part of the decade, a McGrady-Iverson backcourt was inevitable in the All-Star game. They provided NBA fans with many exciting moments as they teamed up and put on a show annually.
We seen these two as rivals. When 76ers would play the Magic, everyone wanted to see the McGrady-Iverson matchup. Even when both players moved to the Western Conference, people still looked forward to Denver-Houston games to see two of the best in the game go up against each other.
In the 07-08 NBA season, both McGrady and Iverson led their squads to postseason berths in the toughest conference in the NBA history, where every playoff team won 50 games. Both A.I and T-Mac had tons of obstacles facing them that year and they both still found a way to lead their team to the playoffs by having MVP type seasons. That year was also that last year both players where healthy and were the focal player on their respectitive teams.
So wouldn't it be ironic if they became teammates. Well, it's a real possibility.
Earlier today, I was playing around with NBA Trade Machine and found a trade between the Sixers and Rockets that's financially possible.
SG Tracy McGrady
PF Elton Brand
SG Willie Green
PG Royal Ivey
Obviously, the two main componets in this trade would be McGrady and Brand.
The Rockets are a team that lack size in the frontcourt which will hurt them come playoff time. That's where Brand can help. When use correctly, Brand is 20/10 guy in this league as well as an All-Star. The problem is that Brand is only 6'8(same height as Tracy McGrady) and the Rockets are already undersized.
But Brand has proved in the past that he can play center despite his size. He can still score and rebound against opposing centers. He could still do a decent job defensively against the other centers in the league.
Another problem would be that the Rockets are an up-tempo team. Brand's style of play is best suited for a half court offense. That's one of the reasons why the Sixers has benched Brand for some games this seasons. 76ers wants to be a run and gun team.
But last season, Brand told reporters that he's willing to play center. He'll rebound and defend and pass if off to his teammates if that was best for the team. That mentality will benefit the Rockets and come playoff time when the game tends to slow down, the Rockets may find themselves needing a player who can dominate the game offensively in an half court set.
Also, the addition of Brand can help elevate this team into the upper echelon teams in the West. The Rockets would also get a couple of good role players in Willie Green and Royal Ivey to help out their bench.
McGrady can be asset for the 76ers if he's acquired. This trade would give the Sixers one of the best all-round players in the league.
When healthy, McGrady is easiely a top 5 scorer in the NBA today as well as probably is the best passing swingman in the NBA today behind LeBron James.
He's one of the few players in the NBA capable of averaging 20 ppg, 5 rpg, and 5 apg.
But that's if McGrady is still in his prime which I still believe he is.
One problem in getting McGrady is obviously his health issues and how long it would take him to get into basketball shape. The Sixers don't have a lot of time to turn things together and make a push for postseason.
Another problem may be that McGrady would want to start in Philly and with Allen Iverson, Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala, and Thaddeus Young there if would be tough to find minutes as well as shots to satisfy all these players.
Another problem is although McGrady can play in up-tempo offense when he's in shape, you will get the most out of him offensively in a half-court offense.
Despite all these issues, McGrady can help improve this team if he's still in his prime because of his versatility offensively and his ability to play great with Allen Iverson.
We have seen flashes of these two playing great together. I know that's only in an all-star game but I could see these two playing great together in the same backcourt for the Sixers.
I believe Iverson and McGrady are in their primes and both has the capable carrying their teams especially in the fourth quarter.
McGrady and Iverson both have the ability to create for themselves as well as creating for others. This is where Iguodala will benefit from the addition of McGrady. Both McGrady and Iverson will draw double teams and this will allow Iguodala to get a lot of easy buckets.
Now, the Sixers success would be determine on if McGrady is still in prime. But even if he's not his scoring and passing ability are assets to this team and should make this team better.
On top of that, McGrady has a huge expiring contract and it can be use to sign a big name free agent in 2010.
This trade looks like a win-win on both sides but it's clear of the conquences of the trade for both squads.
Probable Lineups(if the trade does go down)
Looks good, right. Well, in the NBA, you may never know what can happened. Honestly, I doubt that this trade will happen and with each passing day it looks like McGrady won't be traded despite the efforts of the Houston Rockets. I just want McGrady to prove all his critics wrong this season whether he's in a Rocket uniform or not!