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Hicks
06-30-2004, 12:32 PM
LA Times: Houston, You Have McGrady
Houston, You Have McGrady

Two-time leading scorer is traded to the Rockets in a seven-player deal that gives the Magic a new backcourt.

By Mark Heisler, Times Staff Writer

In a move that gave Houston a pair to challenge Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant as the NBA's greatest tandem or replace them if they break up the Rockets acquired Tracy McGrady, the league's leading scorer the last two seasons, to go with 7-foot-5 Yao Ming.

After a week of confusion, the deal was the one originally agreed to, with Orlando sending McGrady, forward Juwan Howard and guards Tyronn Lue and Reece Gaines to Houston for guards Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley and center Kelvin Cato.

McGrady, who just turned 25, was an All-Star in each of his four seasons in Orlando after signing a $93-million deal as a free agent in 1999.

McGrady arrived with Grant Hill, but ankle injuries limited Hill to 47 games in four seasons. The Magic didn't get out of the first round of the playoffs in the first three and fell apart last season, toppling to 20-62.

With McGrady holding an opt-out clause, effective next summer, Orlando General Manager John Weisbrod, a former New York Ranger hockey player who took over in March, pressed him for a commitment, noting, "I have no intention of starting the season with an 'I don't know.' "

When no commitment was forthcoming, Weisbrod put McGrady on the block. McGrady gave the Magic two teams he would go to and one, Houston, came up with the package Weisbrod sought.

Francis, 27, a three-time All-Star, was known as Stevie Franchise in his first four seasons, when he averaged 20 points, 6.4 assists and 6.2 rebounds.

His scoring average fell to 16.6 last season under defense-minded Coach Jeff Van Gundy, but the Rockets made the playoffs. They lost to the Lakers in five games, but Francis averaged 19 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.6 assists in his postseason debut.

Francis' running-mate, Mobley, 28, is a five-year veteran who averaged 21.7 points three seasons ago and has a 17.1 career average. Young and mistake-prone, the guards were also known as "the knucklehead backcourt" among Houston insiders, who wondered how compatible they were with Van Gundy.

Weisbrod claimed the deal stalled while he considered "other options." Nevertheless, the Magic didn't seem interested in any of the proposals that flooded in, including Indiana's offer of Ron Artest, Jonathan Bender and Fred Jones.

Francis' dismay at being traded seemed more to the point. When the deal was announced, his agent, Jeff Fried noted, "He's already been through a rebuilding period."

Fried reportedly contacted five teams, seeing if he could find one that would spring Francis from Orlando. One reportedly was Seattle, which Fried hoped would offer Ray Allen.

Looking as if he were trying to backstop himself in the draft in case Francis didn't relent, Weisbrod traded for Denver's No. 20 pick, point guard Jameer Nelson. That night, however, Francis and Weisbrod talked by phone. Francis agreed to play in Orlando. "We meshed," Weisbrod said.

"In a weird sort of way, I kind of liked [Francis' reluctance] because it told me the guy was loyal to his team. He's been in Houston for five seasons and he's battled with those guys and given his blood, sweat and tears. His reaction was better than getting some guy who just got on a flight and moved on to the next city without any emotion."

From that point on, the deal was back on, as originally conceived. The trade was announced after Francis and Weisbrod had met Tuesday in Orlando.

McGrady has questions to answer after a lame season, despite his scoring numbers a 28.1 average over the last four seasons. He missed 15 games and finally pulled the plug on March 26 "to rest my knee for the Olympics." Then he pulled out of the Olympics.

Nevertheless, the potential of a great perimeter player and a great, big center was demonstrated by O'Neal and Bryant, who won three titles, amid disagreements. The Pacific Division might be losing one of its great powers, but the new Southwest might have added one.

Hicks
06-30-2004, 12:34 PM
We offered the DPOY, Bender, and Fred, and they said NO. Bah.

Lord Helmet
06-30-2004, 12:37 PM
I'm glad we didn't trade Ron.

Hicks
06-30-2004, 12:38 PM
Assuming he could get traded later this summer, I'm NOT happy we didn't trade Ron in this case.

Unclebuck
06-30-2004, 12:40 PM
"Weisbrod claimed the deal stalled while he considered "other options." Nevertheless, the Magic didn't seem interested in any of the proposals that flooded in, including Indiana's offer of Ron Artest, Jonathan Bender and Fred Jones"


That makes some sense. Is that better than what they got from the Rockets. I don't think so, but the Magic must have.

indygeezer
06-30-2004, 12:41 PM
We offered the DPOY, Bender, and Fred, and they said NO. Bah.

Well, I suppose it could be argued that we offered...
a headcase
an inconsistant, oft-injured, underachiever
and an undersized SG with hops.

DisplacedKnick
06-30-2004, 01:25 PM
We offered the DPOY, Bender, and Fred, and they said NO. Bah.

Well, I suppose it could be argued that we offered...
a headcase
an inconsistant, oft-injured, underachiever
and an undersized SG with hops.

Well, I'd argue that you offered the DPOY and filler because that's all Bender and Jones are.

SkipperZ
06-30-2004, 01:52 PM
Assuming he could get traded later this summer, I'm NOT happy we didn't trade Ron in this case.

Thats a good point. Trading Artest for TMAC is fine, but he better not get traded later on unless we get friggin Kobe Bryant post-innocent verdict out of him. Or another SG or C of all-NBA caliber.




We offered the DPOY, Bender, and Fred, and they said NO. Bah.

Well, I suppose it could be argued that we offered...
a headcase
an inconsistant, oft-injured, underachiever
and an undersized SG with hops.

Well, I'd argue that you offered the DPOY and filler because that's all Bender and Jones are.

I think Ron and filler is better than Francis and filler. I think the difference was that Francis was a more marketable household name.

And yes in my opinion if Fred Jones and Bender are filler, so are Mobley and Cato. Cato is no different than Pollard, he averaged 6 and 7 for christsake. Give me Bender's talent and potential over Cato any day. They are both as of now not very good, but Cato is done getting better. At least Bender has a chance as small as you mite think it is.

Mobley is better than Jones, sure, but i think they even out as pairs. And again with Mobley what you see is what you get. Hes done getting better, and what he is is a good lefty shooter, who can pass the rock, but ultimately is more of a size liability than Jones. At least Jones has the wingspan and vertical to make up for his size deficiencies as a sg. Mobley is just short.

Theres a reason why
Orlandos already trying to get rid of Mobley and Cato....

PacerMan
06-30-2004, 02:01 PM
That's BS and anyone that knows the Pacers knows that.

PacerMan
06-30-2004, 02:02 PM
That's BS and anyone that knows the Pacers knows that.

To the one above the one above. :arrgh:

Arcadian
06-30-2004, 02:02 PM
Houston's offer mad more sense to me. They can start Cat, Francis, Cato and Howard while they couldn't do that with our offer--unless you move Bender to center:arrgh:.

DisplacedKnick
06-30-2004, 02:11 PM
I think Ron and filler is better than Francis and filler. I think the difference was that Francis was a more marketable household name.

And yes in my opinion if Fred Jones and Bender are filler, so are Mobley and Cato. Cato is no different than Pollard, he averaged 6 and 7 for christsake. Give me Bender's talent and potential over Cato any day. They are both as of now not very good, but Cato is done getting better. At least Bender has a chance as small as you mite think it is.



Well, Mobley averaged 15 ppg as a third option on a WCD playoff team so I have a hard time seeing him as filler.Cato is though I'd have a tough decision deciding between him and Bender - it's a choice between a big man who's very solid on defense and worthless on offense vs a player who shows some spectacular flashes but has chronic injury problems.

Ultimately Houston traded 3 starters, one a star, while the Pacers offered 1 starter, a star, a chronically injured player and a shooting guard who's not a very good shooter.

sixthman
06-30-2004, 02:28 PM
Add to the Houston offer this goodie: Houston took on Juwan Howard's loooonnnnggggggg contract.

I'd have taken the Houston offer, if I had been the Magic.

Unclebuck
06-30-2004, 02:37 PM
This thread is exhibit A in the case against trading Bender.

I don't consder Bender "filler" at all. Not even a little bit. But I can see why his trade value is equal to "filler", and that is why Bender should not be traded, because he is better than his trade value.

Will Galen
06-30-2004, 02:38 PM
Houston's offer mad more sense to me. They can start Cat, Francis, Cato and Howard while they couldn't do that with our offer--unless you move Bender to center:arrgh:.

Exactly! They get all the pieces they need for their team.

They wanted to fill out there team not stack up at one or two positions.

fwpacerfan
06-30-2004, 03:49 PM
It seems to me the Magic are mixed up. Are they rebuilding or aren't they? If they aren't rebuilding then why did they draft a high schooler? If they are rebuilding then I think the Pacers offer makes more sense. They would have gotten a 24 year old DPOY, a 23 year old athletic freak and a 23 year old guard with tremendous upside.

As it stands they got a streaky, moody point guard who is coming off of the worst season of his career, a 28 year old SG who is steady but is in his prime right now, and a 30 year old center who averaged 6 & 7 last year.

I don't think this will go down as one of the wisest choices in Weisbrod's career.

pacerwaala
06-30-2004, 11:34 PM
who knows what was really offered?

MagicRat
07-01-2004, 12:34 AM
No Pacers mentions, but interesting....

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/06/30/spt_spthoop1nbab.html

Magic got best of McGrady-Francis deal

By PETER KERASOTIS
Florida Today

I feel sorry for Yao Ming. Now he has to play basketball with Tracy McGrady and a bunch of guys that T-Mac said weren't good enough.

So long, Tracy. We hope you find whatever it is you're looking for but were so unwilling to work hard for.

We'll see how good the Rockets will be with T-Mac and a handful of castoffs from the NBA's worst team.

Orlando and Houston finally executed their blockbuster trade Tuesday, with the Magic shipping a disgruntled and disinterested McGrady, as well as Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue and Reece Gaines, to Houston for Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato.

Essentially, the Magic traded McGrady for an All-Star point guard in Francis and a sharp-shooting two guard in Mobley. That's two starters for one. Not bad.

The Magic also dumped a pair of point guards in Lue and Gaines. Since they now have Steve Francis and first-round pick Jameer Nelson, Lue's backup role was no longer needed. And Gaines has been a bust since he first stepped foot in Orlando.

The Magic also dumped Howard's crippling salary. He's a nice player, and a nice guy, but slow and woefully inconsistent on short jumpers, which should normally be a power forward's bread and butter. Besides, Howard's best years, which were always fairly mediocre anyway, are behind him.

Howard could've helped this upcoming season. But if the other Howard, and that would be former prep sensation Dwight Howard, develops as quickly as the Magic say he will, then it's good for Orlando to get out from underneath Juwan's contract a year too soon, rather than a year too late.

Boil it all down, and the Magic got an All-Star and two other starters for one superstar, one starter and two throw-in scrubs.

Francis solves Orlando's glaring point guard problem and between him and Mobley, they'll more than make up for T-Mac's prodigious scoring output. Cato isn't the permanent answer at center, but he'll be the best the Magic have had in a while. Throw in a healthy Grant Hill, and I do think he'll be healthy, and you have a starting five of Francis, Mobley, Hill, Dwight Howard and Cato.

Something tells me they'll win more than 21 games.

Something also tells me that Magic general manager John Weisbrod isn't done yet.

What does it tell you that this was the best the Magic could get for the league's scoring champion the past two seasons? It should tell you that McGrady has a reputation. The NBA is a small community. Word gets around.

There are some wrinkles in Francis, too, specifically his missing a team flight to attend the Super Bowl. But Weisbrod believes the team-first environment he is laying as the foundation for this franchise will iron out such wrinkles. Besides, the missed flight was more an aberration than the rule. This guy is a hard worker and dedicated teammate.

In fact, everything you didn't like about Tracy you'll love about Francis. Where Tracy was soft and lazy, Francis is tough and dedicated. Think of him as a taller and more talented Darrell Armstrong. And Mobley will give Orlando the sharp-shooting, three-point threat they haven't had in a while.

Where T-Mac didn't have the respect of his teammates, Francis does.

There is a story from last season when the Magic were playing Cleveland and McGrady took a hard foul that knocked him to the floor. During a timeout, Magic coach Johnny Davis told his players he wanted retaliation; he wanted to see LeBron James knocked on his backside.

It never happened.

When told the story, Weisbrod responded, "That tells you what Tracy's teammates thought of him."

Maybe things will be different for T-Mac in Houston. He is arguably the NBA's most talented player. And he will have Ming in the low post, providing the ying and yang of superstar center and guard that many think is necessary to win an NBA championship.

The Magic, meanwhile, are gathering a group that resembles the Detroit Pistons, who just won the NBA championship.

We'll see which philosophy works.

I feel sorry for Yao Ming.

DisplacedKnick
07-01-2004, 09:01 AM
The Magic, meanwhile, are gathering a group that resembles the Detroit Pistons, who just won the NBA championship.

We'll see which philosophy works.

I feel sorry for Yao Ming.


This is kind of funny consider Orlando had a huge role in CREATING the Detroit Pistons.

The other funny thing is the thought of Yao (or JVG) sorry to see Steve Francis leave.

SkipperZ
07-01-2004, 10:28 AM
The Magic, meanwhile, are gathering a group that resembles the Detroit Pistons, who just won the NBA championship.

We'll see which philosophy works.

I feel sorry for Yao Ming.


This is kind of funny consider Orlando had a huge role in CREATING the Detroit Pistons.

The other funny thing is the thought of Yao (or JVG) sorry to see Steve Francis leave.



You dont think Yao is sorry to see francis leave? Steve Francis was one of Yao's favorite teammates. Francis from day one welcomes Yao with open arms, tried to help him fit into the team, bought him gifts for x-mas and his b-day to try to make him feel welcome, and was one of the only players on the court that tried to communicate with Yao.

I think they had a very healthy relationship, even if their talents didnt mesh. And honestly I think they could have worked out just fine. The problem on that team was not between Yao and Francis, it was between JVG and Francis. Playing inside out wasnt what hindered Francis' game as much as playing a slowdown offense. In a fast court game, Francis will flourish, and I think we might see that come back in Orlando. Not to mention playing with Grant Hill (if he's healthy) and Cuttino Mobley (if he stays) gives to other options as ballhandler, allowing Francis to play off the ball more often.

If the rumors about Tmac are true, then I agree that Orlando got the better end of the deal. Francis has the ability to be a 24 7 and 7 type player.

But I still think the Pacer's offer was better, based solely on the fact that Artest is better than Francis, and as a rebuilding team, the potential of Bender and Jones I would think is more enticing than Cat and Cato, who are both in their primes and not getting any better.

PacerMan
07-01-2004, 10:44 AM
It seems to me the Magic are mixed up. Are they rebuilding or aren't they? If they aren't rebuilding then why did they draft a high schooler? If they are rebuilding then I think the Pacers offer makes more sense. They would have gotten a 24 year old DPOY, a 23 year old athletic freak and a 23 year old guard with tremendous upside.

As it stands they got a streaky, moody point guard who is coming off of the worst season of his career, a 28 year old SG who is steady but is in his prime right now, and a 30 year old center who averaged 6 & 7 last year.

I don't think this will go down as one of the wisest choices in Weisbrod's career.


Agree totally. ;)

PacerMan
07-01-2004, 10:46 AM
and I'm happy it didn't happen. :D

Arcadian
07-01-2004, 12:27 PM
My favorite part of the article was when it made the trade sound great when talking about Weisbrod and then aksed why that was all they could get when talking about T-Mac.

I can't wait to read what the he says about the trade in Feb. when Francis doesn't make the All-star team and Orlando is battling the Bobcats for the bottom of the worst division in the NBA.

By the way with Ron's temperment when a team is losing would you want to want rebuild around him?

Shade
07-01-2004, 12:43 PM
We should have subbed Al for JB.

Ron, Al, and Freddie vs. Francis, Mobley, and Cato. Tough call. :shrug:

Fool
07-02-2004, 08:39 AM
I can't see the Magic getting compared to the Pistons ever again. Lets see, a high school phenom, a superstar point guard, and a perhaps washed up, overly injured, former superstar, and Mobley and Cato. I don't see the similarity. Other than Cato, who is going to play defense on this team? Also, its funny how just because Stevie Franchise isn't the biggest superstar in the deal he is relegated to "all-star" in the article rather than the title one usually gives players you build teams around, "superstar".

The Houston deal was better than the Pacer deal because Orlando got an entire team from Houston, as they got every position they didn't already have. Artest is better defensively than anyone Orlando got but Franchise and Mobley = a playoff caliber backcourt, Artest and Jones = a 3/2 and a back-up 2. Since they are holding on to Grant Hill coming back they don't need a 3 and I would rather have Cato as my starting 5 than Bender. Cato's game is established and he is a known quantity, plus he can bang with the larger centers. Bender has bigger upside but he has had that upside for a while now and he isn't going to be guarding Shaq anytime soon.

Besides, would you really want Howard sitting on your bench? BTW, I think I love that Howard went to the Magic because his wife wanted to live in Orlando and now they have traded him. Houston is still warm but I would like to believe that Mrs. Howard is very unhappy with the move.

Kegboy
07-02-2004, 01:49 PM
You dont think Yao is sorry to see francis leave? Steve Francis was one of Yao's favorite teammates. Francis from day one welcomes Yao with open arms, tried to help him fit into the team, bought him gifts for x-mas and his b-day to try to make him feel welcome, and was one of the only players on the court that tried to communicate with Yao.

Yep, Stevie did everything except pass Yao the ball. :rolleyes: :unimpressed:

People say Monteith is in the Pacers back pocket. He's nothing compared to the yahoo who wrote this. Orlando=Detroit? Hardly. Miami's gonna kill the rest of that division next year, and for years to come.
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