Rockets recruit Kings in McGrady talks

As talks with the New York Knicks stalled on Wednesday night, the Houston Rockets quietly recruited the Sacramento Kings as part of a three-team trade discussion that would deliver Tracy McGrady(notes) to the Chicago Bulls, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The proposed deal was contingent on John Salmons(notes) staying with the Bulls, but that appeared in doubt with the Milwaukee Bucks expecting to complete their own trade for Salmons.

In the proposed trade, the Rockets would get Kenny Thomas(notes), Andres Nocioni(notes), Beno Udrih and a Kings’ protected No. 1 draft pick. Sacramento would acquire Tyrus Thomas(notes), Brad Miller(notes) and Salmons from the Bulls. The deal would clear cap space for the Bulls this summer and save the Kings as much as $15 million in salary next year.

One source with knowledge of the Knicks’ talks with the Rockets said New York isn’t enthused about Houston’s demands. The Rockets want to trade first-round picks in 2011 and take the Knicks’ 2012 pick. They also have asked for cash, the source said.

It is unclear whether the Bulls will try to revive talks with the Rockets if they complete their trade with the Bucks. However, Houston clearly is worried about where the discussions with New York are headed as the deadline looms on Thursday.

Y! Sports NBA reporter Marc J. Spears contributed to this story.