Sunday , Dec , 27 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Tracy McGrady and Houston Rockets must agree on buyout … and now

For months, it’s been clear Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets would eventually part ways. After all, ‘T-Mac’ is in the final year of a max contract with no hint of an extension from the club, while the Rockets successfully rebuilt around a platoon of blue-collar players when their former prodigal son was sidelined long-term with a micro-fracture injury …

Tracy McGrady and Houston Rockets must agree on buyout ... and nowBreaking NBA News mixed with analysis … 

Their News:  Tracy McGrady is frustrated with his playing time in Houston. "I lace them up, and at that seven-minute mark, I go in the game, I do what I got to do, and then the second quarter I sit down and become a cheerleader," McGrady said. "That was the plan. I agreed to that. It’s cool. After so many games, I’ve shown I’m able to increase the minutes. I think that’s what’s going to happen over the next couple games. I do know my body. I feel fine. It’s time to start increasing." (Houston Chronicle, via CNNSI)

My Quick Analysis: For months, it’s been clear Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets would eventually part ways.

After all, ‘T-Mac’ is in the final year of a max contract with no hint of an extension from the club, while the Rockets successfully rebuilt around a platoon of blue-collar players when their former prodigal son was sidelined long-term with a micro-fracture injury.

Now McGrady is back. And he needs significant minutes, not first quarter cameos, to establish his worth in next summer’s free agent market. Problem is Houston currently has chemistry, lots of it, in fact. Giving their ball dominating swing a role would compromise the good vibes amongst this team-first crew.

Well, what happens next? Forget this painful, drawn-out break-up. A quick divorce is in everybody’s interest. And the sooner, the better.  

McGrady wants playing time –something Coach Rick Adelman can’t provide. The Rockets want nothing to do with McGrady, except the flexibility of his expiring contract, which comes off their books at season’s end.

Unfortunately, a trade is difficult because Houston would have to match expensive, short-term contracts with another team. A buyout is a win-win situation, though.

McGrady gives back salary, becomes a free agent, and picks a team that gives him an audition before next summer. Of course, with a buyout there’s no contract for the Rockets to take back, so their precious cap space is protected.

The alternative isn’t pretty. McGrady keeps hanging around and creates a sideshow capable of ruining Houston’s surprising season. 

Is a buyout best for McGrady and the Rockets? Get at us in the comment box with thoughts. Follow Oly on HoopsVibe The Blog and Twitter. Photo courtesy of fantasy sports lounge.