Tracy McGrady Leaves The Rockets, Both Sides Agree To Seek Trade

After six games, during which he played very few minutes and complained about his role, Tracy McGrady left the Houston Rockets for their two-game road trip starting December 26. On Monday, the two sides agreed to letting McGrady take an indefinite leave while the team explores trade options.

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Rockets, McGrady Reach 'Mutual Agreement' To Seek Trade

Tracy McGrady has officially been granted an indefinite leave from the team while the Rockets explore the possibility of trading The Big Sleep.

With Rockets coach Rick Adelman still unable to predict when McGrady will get significant playing time, McGrady’s representatives asked that the Rockets trade McGrady.

Morey declined comment on Monday.

McGrady will not play while the Rockets seek a trade. A person with knowledge of the Rockets talks with teams said no trade is imminent, but that the Rockets had not been very aggressive in seeking a deal.

McGrady is in the final season of the extension he signed with the Rockets before the 2004-05 season, making his expiring contract worth nearly $23 million potentially valuable to a team seeking to rid itself of rich, long-term contracts.

Rockets fans are not exactly broken up by the news, as illustrated at SB Nation's The Dream Shake.

Daryl Morey may be better off giving McGrady the Marbury/Iverson treatment and just telling McGrady to stay away from the team.  Assuming McGrady isn't traded, his contract comes off the books next year and the Rockets will be under the cap with something like $15M to work with.  This money will be quite useful in finding a replacement swingman while also attempting to re-sign Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes and/or Kyle Lowry while also working extensions for Aaron Brooks and Carl Landry.

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Tracy McGrady Leaves Rockets, Could Request A Trade

It appears we’re inching closer to Tracy McGrady’s final days as a member of the Houston Rockets.

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets told McGrady he would not play in the Rockets’ two games last weekend (New Jersey on Saturday, Cleveland on Sunday) and gave him permission to fly home. This comes on the heels of McGrady expressing discontent about his role after the Rockets’ loss to Orlando last Wednesday, when he quipped to reporters about his “cameo” role.

A trade seems to be the next logical step, and indeed, according to CBS Sportsline’s Ken Berger, McGrady’s agent is expected to talk to the Rockets about that possibility. Houston’s GM Daryl Morey continues to deny that the Rockets were showcasing McGrady for a trade, and coach Rick Adelman told Feigen he’s still trying to figure out a way to get McGrady in the teams’ rotation, but the writing seems to be on the wall.

We all should have expected this once McGrady and the team sparred over McGrady’s comeback date. The Rockets are overachieving with a roster of hard-working role players that exhibit great chemistry, and it’s clear they were worried McGrady’s return would disrupt that balance. McGrady, for his part, clearly has personal motivation to come back, since he’s going to be a free agent and may not get another chance to get a long-term contract. Irresistible force, meet unmovable object.

A divorce seems inevitable, and it’s probably best for both parties. Houston should be able to get some value for McGrady’s large expiring contract at some point this season, and McGrady might feel rejuvenated elsewhere, particularly if he goes to a team out of the playoff race that will give him playing time. It’s just a matter of when.

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