Just about 6 seasons ago, former Orlando Magic and disgruntled G/F Tracy McGrady was traded to HOU along with F Juwan Howard, G Tyronn Lue and G Reece Gaines. After suffering a 21-61 season record in the 03-04 season, ORL had the #1 pick in the 2004 NBA that brought in Magic F/C Dwight Howard. Apparently Tracy McGrady did not want to wait for Howard's potential and he was already having problems with font office management (particularly former ORL Magic GM John Weisbrod.
What was supposed to be a dynamic 1-2 combo alongside Houston Rockets C Yao Ming has turned into a nightmare for Houston fans. They started off fast almost defeating the Mavericks in the 04-05 playoffs but then came up short. In the following seasons Tracy McGrady's career had been plagued by injuries in almost every part of his body.
Today as I was reading through my daily NBA headlines, rumors, etc. I ran into an article from Yahoo! Sports that had this on it:
"The confrontation had been building for weeks, sources say, and underscores a lingering uneasiness between the organization and McGrady. Adelman and McGrady had a dispute last February over the way McGrady informed the team that he had chosen to undergo season-ending knee surgery. Instead of telling them directly, McGrady released the information to the public. At the time, sources say, McGrady felt betrayed in the belief that members of the organization were publicly and privately doubting the validity of his injury.
[The trust has broken down between them,]a source close to McGrady and Adelman said. [There’s some work to be done there.]
McGrady, 30, is in the final year of his contract and is being paid a league-high $23.2 million this season. He’s had a history of injuries with Houston and questions about his toughness and leadership have always been debated inside and outside the organization. In his six seasons with the Rockets, McGrady has missed 125 games because of back and knee problems. Once the Rockets advanced to Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals without McGrady last season, there came evidence that the Rockets employ a more balanced lineup capable of wining without him.
Sources say McGrady has started to wonder whether the Rockets want him back with this team, or whether they’ve been motivated to let him sit and collect on insurance money. Assuming that McGrady is covered under the NBA’s Temporary Total Disability (TTD) insurance policy, Houston can start to collect up to 80 percent of his prorated per-game salary after he’s missed 41 consecutive games. McGrady sat out his 42nd straight game Wednesday in Minnesota, and the league insurance plan would reimburse the Rockets for any additional missed games."
With McGrady becoming a FA in next year's 2010 offseason, could he take the Vince Carter route and come back home for the MLE? Would fans want him back home after admitting that he quit on the team in the 03-04 season?
I personally feel like he COULD come back and be that guy for us that Hedo was. He provides height, playmaking ability, shooting/scoring skills, underrated defense and veteran leadership abilities. The problem with McGrady as anyone may attest is his heart and willingness to win games as well as his health, although this passed offseason he has been recovering from what is said to be a very successful microfracture surgery and he has since been working out in Chicago with world renoun trainer Tim Grover of Attack Athletics who has treated players such as Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade amongst many more names.
If he takes the step back and just plays team defense and makes the correct plays without wanting or having to score 30+ ppg, could he be the missing piece for us? I feel like Van Gundy can harness his attitude and maybe VC can get him to play the way he can with this team. With the Howard factor opening up oppotunites for McGrady, I feel like he can be a very affective player in our system.