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Bball
06-22-2004, 11:47 PM
Francis Looks for a Way to Avoid Orlando
Guard's Agents Look for Other Suitors as Thursday's Trade Deadline to Magic Looms

By Greg Sandoval and Steve Wyche
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, June 23, 2004; Page D01

The representatives for Houston Rockets guard Steve Francis tried yesterday to prevent him from being traded to the Orlando Magic by seeking a third team willing to take part in a blockbuster NBA deal, a source close to the talks said.


The Rockets and Magic are close to an agreement to swap Francis and Tracy McGrady, the NBA's leading scorer, in a deal that involved four other players. But Francis would prefer to play for a playoff contender and his District-based agents, Jeff Fried and Nate Peake, contacted more than five NBA teams yesterday about trading a player to Orlando for Francis should the Rockets and Magic complete their deal, the source said.

Each of the teams contacted by the agents expressed interest in Francis but had to address their own salary cap issues, said the source.

The source said the Rockets and Magic have decided to wait until after Thursday's NBA draft to finalize the trade.

Fried told reporters yesterday morning that Francis was unhappy with the proposed trade and that while the 6-3 point guard and three-time all star has nothing against the Magic organization, he wishes to continue to play for a playoff contender. The Rockets were 45-37 last season and made the playoffs for the first time in five years.

"[Francis] was in the playoffs and helped the Rockets make a run on the Los Angeles Lakers," Fried said. "He's already been through a rebuilding period."

Francis could not be reached for comment last night but in an interview with the Houston Chronicle on Monday, he said he would miss playing for Houston should he be traded.

"I thought we were really building something, something very good in Houston," Francis told the Chronicle. "Obviously, that's not the direction they want to go. I still think we could be a very good team."

Should Francis' agents find a way to get him out of Orlando, it would be the second time that they helped move him to a team more to his liking.

The Vancouver Grizzlies drafted Francis, then a junior from the University of Maryland, with the No. 2 pick in the 1999 draft but traded him to the Rockets in an 11-player, three-team blockbuster deal after Francis balked at playing for the Grizzlies.

The prospect of the trade -- which would involve two of the NBA's brightest stars -- had officials around the league buzzing.

Under the terms of the proposed trade, the Magic would send McGrady and former Washington Wizards Juwan Howard and Tyronn Lue to the Rockets for Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato.

McGrady is approaching the final year of a seven-year, $93 million contract and in recent weeks he had warned Magic executives that unless they dramatically boosted the team's talent level he would test free agency.

McGrady, 25, won the NBA scoring title last season with a 28-point average but has a reputation for being selfish. The question for the Rockets is how McGrady would fare if he joined Houston center Yao Ming, another of the league's most popular players, in an offense that revolves around the 7-foot-4 Yao.

Should the deal go through, the Magic would get one of the NBA's most consistent guards. Francis joined Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Grant Hill this season as the only players in NBA history to average 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in each of their first five years.

But Francis clashed at times this season with first-year coach Jeff Van Gundy. The 6-3 guard was reportedly unhappy about the Yao-first offense.

2004 The Washington Post Company

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62230-2004Jun22.html

Young
06-22-2004, 11:53 PM
Keep it up Steve and I will buy your jersey.

If you keep TMac from going to Houston I will worship your jersey forever.

Same thing with you Marion.

Snickers
06-23-2004, 12:03 AM
Stevie sure seems to b*tch a lot. :neutral:

Young
06-23-2004, 12:11 AM
Stevie sure seems to b*tch a lot. :neutral:

Well, maybe he has the right to.

He is one of few players [Oscar, Magic, Jordan and Hill, I think] to average 15, 5, and 5 in their first 5 seasons.

And he played well vs the Lakers in the playoffs.

He has been a very good player and he was forced to play under a veteran coach, Rudy T. and then a half court coach, JVG, not to mention Yao who may be nice to play with but when your Steve Francis and a pretty big time player you have to be asking yourself, why me?

He is a hell of a player, and rather you like him, his game, his personality, you must put yourself in his shoes for a minuate and think about where he is coming from.

Snickers
06-23-2004, 12:17 AM
Stevie sure seems to b*tch a lot. :neutral:

Well, maybe he has the right to.

He is one of few players [Oscar, Magic, Jordan and Hill, I think] to average 15, 5, and 5 in their first 5 seasons.

And he played well vs the Lakers in the playoffs.

He has been a very good player and he was forced to play under a veteran coach, Rudy T. and then a half court coach, JVG, not to mention Yao who may be nice to play with but when your Steve Francis and a pretty big time player you have to be asking yourself, why me?

He is a hell of a player, and rather you like him, his game, his personality, you must put yourself in his shoes for a minuate and think about where he is coming from.

Tmac? :neutral:











Heh, I understand his discontent. He is a very talented player, and he wants to 1] be a star and 2] be a star on a playoff team. Ehh. I guess ever since he threw a tantrum in Vancouver, I've never liked him too much. :whoknows:

Tmac.