But it's now looking like the Rockets might swap Kevin Martin for Tracy McGrady, a move that's downright dizzying to consider in the effect it could have on big names and teams on the rise. Marc Stein first reported the Rockets "have agreement in principal with Sacramento to acquire Kevin Martin."
Then, Adrian Wojnarowski filled in the other side of the equation:
The Sacramento Kings are in advanced talks with the Houston Rockets on a trade that will swap Kevin Martin for Tracy McGrady, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.Update: The trade was expanded to three teams, McGrady lands in New York.
Along with Martin, the Kings will send Sergio Rodridguez, Hilton Armstrong and Kenny Thomas to the Rockets. Joey Dorsey and Carl Landry will go to the Kings.
A brief run-through of why this is great for all parties: The Martin-Tyreke Evans partnership wasn't working, and now it's Evans's show in Sacramento. It's unclear just what Tracy McGrady is capable of these days, but that doesn't really matter. Swingman Francisco Garcia's a supremely underrated piece in Sactown, and this could open up minutes for him. If McGrady can contribute, great; if not, he's just the biggest contract in league about to come off the Kings' payroll, or be flipped elsewhere. Oh, and Carl Landry, one of toughest, most active little big man, is no mere throw-in.
As for Houston, there was no question that Trevor Ariza, installed as their number one option, wasn't suited for the role. In fact, he seemed to be the least Daryl Morey-friendly player ever in this incarnation, as opposed to the streamlined, two-way threat he'd been with the Lakers. Look for that player to return. In Kevin Martin, they get a true number one scoring option who who gets buckets with frightening efficiency. On a team with toughness and defense to spare, plugging in Martin is a natural fit. He's also well-suited to play alongside Yao Ming, since he demands the ball in his hands far less than other scoring machines.
It's funny, we've gotten so use to one-sided trades, or deals where one team's benefits are hard to appreciate in the here-and-now. For the most part, this is addition by subtraction for Sacramento, but when that means letting one of the league's brightest young stars begin his career in earnest, and landing the mother of all expiring deals ... well, you don't have to be a CBA geek to get excited about that.