Wednesday, June 30, 2004

[NBA] Tracy McGrady has been traded. The rumored deal has gone through. Orlando sends Tracy McGrady, Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue and Reece Gaines to Houston for Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato. An about even swap. Both teams require more off-season moves to improve further.

Steve Francis is a good player. A little sad to see him leave Houston because him and Yao were a good pairing and played better as a team last season. The biggest issue was Houston not throwing the ball into Yao often enough. Will that change with the league leading scorer McGrady? I'm not so sure. Still, Francis for McGrady. That's an upgrade for Houston.

Juwan Howard has mostly been a disappointment. Last year, he averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds per game. Good stats, but the problem is, he's not a difference maker. He doesn't seem to make teams better. He and his massive contract have been bounced around from Washington to Dallas to Denver to Orlando and now to Houston. Kelvin Cato doesn't have the hype and expectations that Howard brings (or used to bring). A decent backup. This is about even for both teams but Howard is a bigger name.

Tyronn Lue's biggest moment was defending Allen Iverson in the finals a few years ago. His stint in Washington showed he's not that great. Decent as a backup point guard. Cuttino Mobley is the better player in my book. Good for Orlando because him and Francis work well together and are friends off the court as well. Houston needs to look for an even better point guard. Derek Fisher or Steve Nash would be good choices. Nash probably would prefer to stay in Dallas with Nowitzki. He might also end up with the Lakers as part of a Shaq trade. If that happens, Fisher might be a very good possibility, given that he's already playing backup to Payton. A hard working, full effort guy like Fisher would work especially well with a coach like Jeff Van Gundy.