HOUSTON, December 30 – The Houston Rockets confirmed Tuesday they are seeking to trade Tracy McGrady, after a request for a move from the two-time NBA scoring champion's representatives.General manager Daryl Morey said the two sides have had "multiple conversations" and that the Rockets "have agreed to look into trade opportunities and have granted him an indefinite leave from team activities."
McGrady, a seven-time All-Star, has been unhappy with his playing time in six games since he returned from knee surgery in the off season.
McGrady, who is due to make about 23 million dollars this season in the last year of his contract, has played a total of 46 minutes in six games since returning from microfracture surgery on his left knee. That procedure, last February, cut short his previous season.
McGrady had been insisting since training camp that he was ready to play again, but the Rockets have been slow to integrate him into the regular rotation.
Houston coach Rick Adelman said before Tuesday’s game against New Orleans that McGrady never progressed to the point where he was ready to increase his minutes.
"He’s been hurt for over a year," Adelman said. "The thing that people want to write about is who he was two years ago, and he isn’t that right now. We have a whole team here and it’s not just about what he wants or what he was going to want, or what was going to happen. It was about what can he do to help us win, and that was the bottom line to me.
"He wanted to play, he wanted to push it," Adelman said. "Unfortunately, you’ve got to deal with the whole group, not just one individual. He’s coming back from major surgery, he’s rehabilitating and who knows when he’s going to get there. Right now, he wasn’t there."
McGrady averaged 7.7 minutes in his six games and hit only 7 of 19 shots.
He was granted permission to leave the team before weekend games in New Jersey and Cleveland and returned to Houston.
The Rockets acquired McGrady in June 2004, hoping that he would team with Yao Ming and return the franchise to prominence, but his five-season tenure was plagued by injury.
He averaged 25.7 points and 5.5 assists in his first season, but the Rockets lost to Dallas in the first round of the playoffs. The Rockets also lost in the first round in 2007 and 2008.