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Sign-and-trade deals send Hill, McGrady to Magic

SHARE Sign-and-trade deals send Hill, McGrady to Magic

Three days after the start of the free-agent signing period, the Orlando Magic finally reeled in two of the biggest prizes of the NBA offseason.

The Magic worked out three trades Thursday, landing Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady.

Rather than settling for simple free-agent signings, Orlando, Detroit and Toronto made deals beneficial to all three.

The Magic worked out sign-and-trade deals with the Pistons and Raptors, resulting in a nice extra chunk of cash for Hill and McGrady.

Orlando also made a trade with Cleveland, sending small forward Matt Harpring to the Cavaliers for center Andrew DeClercq.

Both Hill and McGrady signed seven-year maximum salary deals worth $93 million with their old teams, then were traded to the Magic. They join Tim Duncan and Jalen Rose as the biggest financial winners of this summer's free-agent class.

Free agents Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace, who were already prepared to sign with Detroit, ended up signing with the Magic and then being traded to the Pistons for Hill.

"I kind of felt all along that if I left Detroit, this is where I wanted to come. When we played against them, they would just play so hard. That really impressed me," Hill said.

McGrady, who was prepared to sign a six-year deal with Orlando containing 10 percent annual raises, instead gets a seven-year deal starting at $9.6 million with annual raises of 12.5 percent.

Orlando sent a future No. 1 pick to Toronto for McGrady.

The Magic's maneuverings were the biggest story on a day when most of the other signings were minor.

The San Antonio Spurs signed their remaining two free agents, Avery Johnson and Antonio Daniels; the Vancouver Grizzlies signed free-agent forward Tony Massenburg of the Houston Rockets; the New Jersey Nets re-signed forward Johnny Newman; Boston signed free-agent guard Randy Brown from the Chicago Bulls; and Phoenix re-signed forward Corie Blount.

A total of 28 free agents have signed contracts during the first three days since the NBA's one-month moratorium on trades and free agent signings expired.

Among the best players still available are forward Maurice Taylor and guard Derek Anderson of the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston forward Danny Fortson, Charlotte center Brad Miller, Indiana guards Reggie Miller and Mark Jackson, Lakers forward Glen Rice, Miami guard Tim Hardaway, New Jersey swingman Kendall Gill, Philadelphia forward Toni Kukoc, Portland forward Brian Grant and Utah guard Howard Eisley.

The trades of Hill and McGrady climaxed a tense three days in Orlando as the Magic tried to find a power forward to man the front line along with Hill and center John Amaechi.

The Pistons are still in the market for a small forward.