Worried that they can't re-sign free agent Hedo Turkoglu without being handcuffed by the luxury tax for several years, the Orlando Magic were talking trade possibilities with New Jersey about Vince Carter and with Houston about Tracy McGrady, according to NBA sources.
Although Carter and McGrady would cost considerably more next season than Turkoglu – who is looking for a five-year, $50 million contract – they both have contracts that end much sooner. Carter has two years remaining, at $16.3 and $17.3, respectively. McGrady has one year remaining at $23 million.
"Not sure they want to give up enough to make either deal work, but they're trying to cover their bases,'' said one NBA source who knew of their contact with both teams.
The Magic were hoping to keep their core of Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson together, but they have been willing to talk trade about everyone else on their roster, including veterans Tony Battie, Rafer Alston and Mickael Pietrus.
Carter, 32, and McGrady, 30, are both former NBA All-Stars with Central Florida roots. Carter, who is from Daytona Beach, averaged 20.8 points and 5.1 rebounds in 80 games last season. McGrady, from nearby Auburndale, averaged 20 points or more for eight consecutive seasons before he missed half of last season with injuries. He averaged just 15.7 points last season.
McGrady played for the Magic for four seasons, but he was traded to Houston in 2004 after openly clashing with former general manager John Weisbrod.
Turkoglu, 30, is coming off his best two NBA seasons. Although the Magic have said they were willing to go into the luxury tax for the first time to sign him, they are hoping to avoid another long-term contract like the one he will command in free agency that starts next month.