ORLANDO, Fla. - Houston star Steve Francis has dropped his objections about being traded to Orlando, possibly paving the way for the Magic to send
Tracy McGrady to the Rockets.
When news of a prospective deal broke earlier this week, Francis was adamant about not wanting to leave Houston. Orlando general manager John Weisbrod
then put talks off until after the draft Thursday night.
But Francis agent, Jeff Fried, told the Magic that there were no objections about coming to Orlando, and a call between Francis and Weisbrod after
Thursday's draft smoothed matters even more.
"I couldn't say we're really closer to anything, but this was a good first step," Weisbrod said early Friday.
Said Fried: "Steve was very impressed with the way John has a vision for the team, and the way he wants to win. It seems they really hit it off."
Although Weisbrod offered no specifics, the deal is believed to be McGrady, Juwan Howard and Tyronn Lue for Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin
McGrady, tired of carrying a mediocre franchise, has said he wants out of Orlando and vowed to exercise the opt-out clause that goes into effect at
the end of next season.
But the Magic decided to trade McGrady, the two-time scoring champion, because they don't him to leave without the team receiving compensation.
After Francis complaints were made public, Weisbrod said he didn't want to let them lie. But he did appreciate the loyalty behind them.
"That's a better way to be than, I'll just fly to whatever place is next," Weisbrod said.
[Edited on 25/6/04 by TRD]