Report: McGrady wants out of Orlando
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Orlando guard Tracy McGrady reportedly wants to
leave the Magic and told the team he will not re-sign after his contract runs
out after next season.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic will most likely trade the
superstar rather than letting him walk away at the end of his contract with no
McGrady, who has won the scoring title in each of the last two seasons, has
repeatedly said he would like to leave if the team did not make a quick
improvement. Orlando, which finished the 2003-04 season with a league-worst
21-61 record, has the first overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
However, McGrady said he wanted the team to trade the pick and acquire veteran
players, which might have helped the club make a quick turnaround. Orlando,
though, is set on keeping the pick with all indications being that it will
select Connecticut center Emeka Okafor.
The relationship between the franchise and its All-Star guard worsened over
last season and Orlando became increasingly frustrated with some of McGrady’s
antics. McGrady was criticized for publicly ripping teammates, his so-so
practice habits and his lack of desire to lead the team.
The 25-year-old McGrady has spent four seasons with the Magic and averaged
28.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game last year. McGrady, who was
drafted out of high school by Toronto with the ninth pick of the first round
in the 1997 NBA Draft, spent his first three campaigns with the Raptors.
For his career, McGrady has posted 21.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists
per contest and has been named as a member of the All-NBA First Team on two
McGrady, who signed with Orlando as a free agent in the summer of 2000
received a seven-year, $93 million contact, with a clause that allowed him to
opt out after the 2004-05 season.
Several league agents have stated that the team’s asking price for McGrady
will be extremely high and the Magic might need at least four players to
complete a deal.
There are several teams interested in the four-time All-Star, including
Indiana, Houston and Phoenix.
According to one source, the Magic have asked the Pacers for as many as four
players – Ron Artest, Al Harrington, Jamaal Tinsley and Jonathan Bender – in
exchange for McGrady. To make it fit under salary-cap rules, the Magic would
have to send at least one other player, likely Juwan Howard, to Indiana.
Donnie Walsh, the Pacers’ team president and chief executive officer, told the
Indianapolis Star that only star forward Jermaine O’Neal was untouchable and
he would consider all other deals.