McGrady to Join the Orlando Magic

— At least for now, Magic coach Doc Rivers expects free-agent forward Tracy McGrady to be in an Orlando uniform next season.

After wavering between Orlando, Chicago and Miami during the past week, McGrady has settled on signing with the Magic, his agent said Wednesday night.

Arn Tellem told WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach that he expects the 21-year-old former Toronto Raptors star to sign with the Magic on Aug. 1, the first day of the free agent-signing period. Tellem said McGrady, from nearby Auburndale, wanted to be close to home.

“There’s no place like home,” Tellem said.

Heated Negotiations

During McGrady’s first visit to Orlando, he said he wanted to sign with the Magic. But when he visited Chicago last weekend, he said those reports were exaggerated.

With McGrady seemingly undecided, the Miami Heat joined the pursuit this week. Center Alonzo Mourning called McGrady on Tuesday, causing him to reconsider the Magic and the Bulls. McGrady then said he planned to sign with the Heat.

The Heat tried Wednesday to pull off a seven-player, sign-and-trade deal that included P.J. Brown and Jamal Mashburn in exchange for McGrady and Antonio Davis.

Meanwhile, Rivers made another strong push, meeting with McGrady to try to get a firmer commitment. For now, it appears to have worked.

“I think we have him — today, anyway,” Rivers told The Orlando Sentinel. “I guess we don’t really know until Aug. 1, but I feel good.”

Decision Has Been Made

As a free agent, McGrady can’t sign a contract until next month. But he says he’s already made his choice — again.

“I’ve made my decision. I’ve told the team I’m going to,” said McGrady, who averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds last season with the Raptors. “Hey, Alonzo called again. I don’t know what he wanted. I didn’t return the call.”

McGrady said a formal announcement could be made by Friday.

He likely will sign a six-year contract for the NBA maximum of $67.5 million, joining Grant Hill, who already has committed to play for the Magic.

Free agent Tim Duncan also announced plans for next season this week, saying he will remain in San Antonio.

The Heat are expected to try to sign Charlotte Hornets swingman Eddie Jones. After spending Tuesday in Miami, Jones was in Orlando on Wednesday.

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