Tracy McGrady Traded to Knicks, Jared Jeffries Goes to Houston
The Knicks pick up McGrady and Sergio Rodriguez, a Spanish point guard with an expiring contract. The Kings will take on Carl Landry, Joey Dorsey and Larry Hughes, and hold on to the expiring contract of Kenny Thomas.
By losing Jeffries, the Knicks are in position to bid for two top-level free agents this summer. The thinking has been that the Knicks won't be able to convince LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh to join the club without assurance another one of the three would also sign with the team. It still remains to be seen whether any of them will buy what the Knicks are selling, but the team's at least in position to make a bid now.
It comes with a steep cost, though. Hill has barely played this season, but was promising enough for the Knicks to spend a top-10 pick on him just a few months ago. The Knicks will also send their 2012 first-round pick to Houston -- there's no word on lottery protection just yet -- and has granted Houston the opportunity to swap its own 2011 pick with that of the Knicks. Unless the '11 or '12 picks are protected, it appears New York has no chance at a lottery pick until 2013 at the earliest. The team's 2010 pick belongs to Utah.
Houston's role in all of this is interesting, and it'll be worth following the next few days of explanations to see exactly how this came together. The Rockets had been working with the Knicks on the non-Martin, non-Landry portions of the deal for weeks. It seems as though Houston got tired of waiting and made the deal for Martin about 12 hours early, perhaps putting pressure on New York to give up those picks. It worked. It looks like Sacramento really helped the Rockets here.
McGrady has wanted to be in New York for some time now. I wonder, though, if Rodriguez might not be as important a cog supposing the Knicks make a hard play for the postseason. He could be Mike D'Antoni's best friend within weeks.