Tracy McGrady-Houston Rockets: The NBA's Highest Paid Athlete On The Go?

Brandon Ribak@reebokforthreeSenior Writer IDecember 17, 2009

MILWAUKEE - FEBRUARY 09: Tracy McGrady #1 of the Houston Rockets puts up a shot over Keith Bogans #10 of 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)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Click here to get sent to the full article at NBAPrimetime.com!

Before we talk about the recent heat in T-Mac trade talk, let us just state that the Houston Rockets (14-11) are a better team without the ever-so injury prone 30-year old.

With that off our chest, let's take a deep breath and discuss the possibilities of ways Mr. McGrady could land in the next few weeks.

Believe it or not, but the NBA's highest paid athlete for the current '09-'10 season is no other than Tracy McGrady.

T-Mac's enticing $23 million contract expires on July 1, 2010, enabling him to become an unrestricted free-agent.

Although it's not guaranteed that McGrady will remain a Rocket until July 1, NBA Primetime takes a look at the scenarios of what could happen and where the superstar could land.

Buyout likely or unlikely?

Throughout the years players such as Chris Webber have gotten their contracts bought out.

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In T-Mac's case the Rockets would have to pay McGrady his entire $23.2 million in order to get him off their roster, forcing the star to become a free-agent on March 1.

The advantages to this scenario for Houston would be getting rid of T-Mac instantly and never having to worry about how his injuries impact to the team again.

Just like every other possibility, the Rockets would ultimately gain an extra $23.2 million to spend on free-agency during the highly anticipated 2010 NBA offseason. 

A trade brewing in Houston?

Another extremely enticing aspect of T-Mac's contract is the 80 percent insurance protection that comes along with it.

According to CBS Sports, "The insurance provision already has kicked in, since McGrady missed 41 consecutive games during his recovery from micro fracture knee surgery. The Rockets, or McGrady's new team, would receive 80 percent of his per-game salary for any games he misses the rest of this season."

Does that make an organization absolutely drool all over McGrady's contract even more or what!

In this scenario the Rockets would be able to give up T-Mac's hefty expiring contract and receive a few players in return, whether it be other expiring contracts or a couple of young guns.

Regardless of the situation Houston would inevitably get the better end of the deal.

The Heat, Bulls, and Knicks are amongst the top teams most interested in McGrady's contract.

Sign-and-trade after July 1?

Click here to get sent to the full article at NBAPrimetime.com!