A week after negotiating a deal to trade Tracy McGrady to the Houston Rockets for Steve Francis, the Orlando Magic finally made it official yesterday.
In a seven-player deal, the Magic traded McGrady, Tyronn Lue, Juwan Howard and Reece Gaines for Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato.
The trade became complete when John Weisbrod, the Magic's president of basketball operations, persuaded Francis to play for Orlando. The Magic will introduce the new players today.
McGrady, a two-time NBA scoring champion (including last season, when he averaged 28 points), was dealt after threatening to leave if management failed to improve the team's personnel. He now joins 7-foot-5 Yao Ming to form one of basketball's most intriguing tandems.
Francis, a three-time all-star who starred collegiately at the University of Maryland, averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists last season.
He joined Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Grant Hill as the only players in league history to average at least 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in each of their first five seasons.
Francis, Mobley and Yao led the Rockets to the playoffs last season for the first time in five years. Houston lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.
-- Greg Sandoval