30 NBA players that got better after leaving their first team

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Orlando Magic
Tracy McGrady (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) /

30 NBA players who got better after leaving their first team: 2. Tracy McGrady

Although they were brief, Tracy McGrady had moments of greatness with the Toronto Raptors. He did not play much during his rookie season but when the team drafted his cousin, Vince Carter, the team improved dramatically. McGrady was a contender for Sixth Man of the Year then helped the Raptors make their first-ever postseason during the 1999-00 season.

Ready to step out of his cousin’s shadow, McGrady signed with the Orlando Magic when his contract expired and quickly became one of the biggest stars in the league. In his first year, when he was named the Most Improved Player in the league, he averaged 26.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. McGrady made the All-Star game and All-NBA first or second-team every season he played for the Magic. He also led the league in scoring twice, averaging 32.1 and 28.0 points per game respectively.

The team was never successful, unfortunately. Some of this is because Grant Hill, who McGrady signed to pair with, had his career derailed by injuries. The Magic made the post-season three out of four seasons and lost in the first round each time. Over those four seasons, McGrady averaged 28.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game on shooting splits of .446/.361/.768.

McGrady was traded to the Houston Rockets, finally pairing with another star in Yao Ming. McGrady made three more All-NBA and All-Star teams. The Rockets would never make it out of the first round of the postseason however and due to various injuries, his prime was cut short. That does not change the fact that for a time, McGrady was one of the most explosive scorers in the league over the course of several seasons. He is a more than worthy Hall of Famer.