Tonight, ESPN.com is reporting that the Houston Rockets, long trying to trade Tracy McGrady and his $23 million expiring contract, have narrowed their choices to the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls. According to this article, the Rockets expect to decide tomorrow on where to send McGrady. SI.com is laying out the details of the deal between Houston and the Knicks, implying that's likely the deal that will go down.
As recently as a few weeks ago, the Rockets (and McGrady) were linked to the 76ers in trade rumors. Since that time, it's become clear that Sixers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski does not want to deal for expiring contracts, wanting only to entertain trade scenarios that will improve the current, on-floor product. Stefanski reiterated this position before tonight's embarrassing 105-78 loss to the *Miami Heat* at the Wachovia Center.
Said Stefanski: "We're very active and a lot of teams are looking for us to do financial deals, to send back expiring contracts and we want to improve the product on the court." There's more from Stefanski in tomorrow's notes package from tonight's game.
Bottom line is Sixers won't make a trade for McGrady's expiring contract if that's the heart of the deal.
There's all kinds of opinions about whether the Sixers should trade Andre Iguodala for that expiring contract and, perhaps, a good young player. There's the thought that Iguodala and Thaddeus Young play the same position -- someone has to go. There's the thought that it's time to move on from this plan.
There's also the thought that Iguodala is the team's best player and it would be the worst move to trade him for an expiring contract, essentially giving away your best player for an uncertain future (so to speak).
Here's something hard and fast to consider as the trading deadline comes closer and it's becoming less and less likely the Sixers will make a franchise-changing deal:
According to a source with first-hand knowledge of the situation, the Houston Rockets were willing to trade McGrady and rookie guard-forward Chase Budinger for Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert. In fact, the Rockets wanted to do this deal. The money works and the Rockets were willing to take on Iguodala's $56 million remaining contract and Dalembert's $12 million next year.
Is that a deal the Sixers should have done?