UPDATE: After hearing and reading media reports that Tracy McGrady will have season-ending microfracture surgery on his ailing left knee, the Houston Rockets aren't ready to pack it in. They might be looking to do something big.
"Not happening," a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com early Thursday.
The Rockets and Clippers discussed a trade that would've freed Davis from a disastrous return to his hometown and allowed the Rockets to remain in contention without McGrady. One possibility, first reported by SportingNews.com, had the Clippers willing to take back McGrady even though he won't play the rest of the season and faces a long recovery from the microfracture procedure.
That should tell you everything you need to know about how desperately Clippers owner Donald Sterling wants to retreat from the rare spending spree that resulted in Davis going to Clipperland in the first place. There figure to be other suitors for Davis, who has four years and $54 million left on his contract. Thus, possible landing spots would have to be limited to financially sound teams willing to take risks. (Mark Cuban, are you out there?)
The Sporting News' initial report on the Baron-to-Houston scenario quoted a person close to Davis saying, "It would be best for everyone if Baron moved on." That smells like an inside job, with Davis and his operatives trying to drum up an exit strategy to a solid playoff team. (Hey, it would beat the heck out of finishing the season with the 13-41 Clippers.) One team executive expressed serious doubts early Thursday that the Clippers would be successful in their Dump Baron campaign.
As for the Rockets, another source said they're telling teams they're working on "smaller deals." So while they're not taking McGrady's season-ending injury passively, they're not alarmed enough to make a $54 million bet.