Tracy McGrady on the Trade Block: Three Potential Suitors

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IJanuary 6, 2010

HOUSTON - APRIL 24:  Guard Tracy McGrady #1 of the Houston Rockets during play against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on April 24, 2009 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's been officially declared: Tracy McGrady's days in a Houston Rockets jersey are numbered. In fact, with him no longer participating in games, it's safe to say they're actually over.

Both McGrady and the Rockets front office have agreed to work out a deal, one that will likely come within the next week or so, with the intentions of landing McGrady in a new home before the All-Star break.

McGrady may not be the same player he was two years ago, and whether he can still carry a team on his back is definitely in question. However, he is fully healthy, and did show in limited action this season that he is still a capable scorer if given the opportunity.

The question is, who wants him?

Considering his price tag ($23 million), McGrady will likely be taken by a team that will get him off the books after this season in an attempt to get rid of their own bad contracts. This makes it very likely that T-Mac ends up with a bottom dweller.

Here's a look at the top teams that will either be a good fit for McGrady, have something the Rockets could use, or would pull the trigger on the deal simply for cap relief in 2010.

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New York Knicks

New York is actually the most logical landing spot for McGrady, and with a number of young, talented players to move around, Houston would be doing themselves a great service to work something out with the Knicks.

McGrady would go into an offense that would immediately utilize his remaining strong suits, and he'd still be an elite scorer, regardless of whether or not his skills and athleticism are deteriorating.

Houston would likely have its picking of a few players, but to land any serious talent like Nate Robinson, David Lee, or Al Harrington, they'd have to throw in another player or two.

Rookie Chase Budinger would appear valuable to the Knicks, as he has the athleticism and outside shot to thrive in an up-tempo offense, while Aaron Brooks would arguably be better suited to run the Knicks' point than Chris Duhon.

A swap of McGrady and Brooks for Nate Robinson and Al Harrington is just one of the many logical, and quite realistic trade scenarios, which could (and likely would) include other players that hold expiring contracts.

Outside of an ugly deal with New Jersey, New York has to be the top team Houston is considering making a deal with, judging by available talent.

New Jersey Nets

The Nets are said to be hanging on tight to their "core" of Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, but have apparently left the remainder of their roster open for bidding. 

And why wouldn't they? The Nets have three wins at the time of this article, and very few of their pieces are players that would make a significant dent in a contender's rotation.

However, Chris Douglas Roberts would certainly hold some value, as would the crafty Courtney Lee. Houston wouldn't want to give up more than McGrady to pull off a deal, but if it involved either of the "core" players, talks could quickly become more serious.

Philadelphia 76ers

No, Philly isn't going to trade Allen Iverson for McGrady. In fact, making a move for McGrady could make them relatively competitive right away, and then set them up for some big moves with Iverson and McGrady coming off the books next season.

Regardless, the Sixers are disappointed with Elton Brand, and rumors are swirling that they feel they've seen all that Andre Iguodala can do, which could make him available.

Needless to say, there really aren't any 76ers players that are "untouchable" these days, and that includes center Samuel Dalembert.

No deal is imminent, but the chatter between the teams hasn't been quiet.

The Wild Card: Milwaukee Bucks

No one is talking about Milwaukee as a participant in any potential deals with Houston, but it's no secret that the Bucks are trying to rid of their own veteran shooting guard in Michael Redd.

Milwaukee also isn't picking up the option on second year forward Joe Alexander, so it's a faint possibility that the Bucks could package the two for McGrady.

Both McGrady and Alexander would come off the respective teams' books after the season ends, and Redd would get his wish to play for a team that will likely be in the thick of the playoff race.

Luke Ridnour is another piece that could be added to the puzzle, as his solid play the past two months has his value quickly rising.

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