The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday night because neither side has made an official comment.
The seven-time All-Star has been asking for more playing time as he tries to come back from offseason microfracture surgery on his left knee. He left the team and returned to Houston over the weekend.
The Houston Chronicle first reported Monday night that McGrady's representatives asked for a trade. General manager Daryl Morey was not immediately available and Bob Myers, McGrady's agent, did not immediately return a phone message left by the AP.
McGrady has played in six games since his season debut on Dec. 15. Houston coach Rick Adelman had limited him to only 7-8 minutes since then.
McGrady is due to make about $23 million this season, the last year of his contract with Houston. He joined the Rockets in 2004 in a trade with Orlando.
The 30-year-old McGrady promised to team with Yao Ming and return the Rockets to prominence when he arrived in June 2004. But his five-season tenure was marked more by injuries than team success.
He averaged 25.7 points and 5.5 assists in his first season, but the Rockets lost to Dallas in the first round of the playoffs.
McGrady's numbers steadily declined as his health became more of an issue. He missed 34 games in 2005-06 with back injuries and that lingered into the following season.
He hurt his elbow and his knee early in the 2007-08 season and missed a total of 16 games. He was in and out of the lineup last season and finally opted for the risky, season-ending surgery around the All-Star break.
Without him, the Rockets won their first playoff series since 1997, then fought the Los Angeles Lakers to seven games in the second round.
McGrady spent the summer working with Tim Grover, Michael Jordan's former trainer. The Rockets, meanwhile, acquired Trevor Ariza to fill McGrady's role in the lineup. Ariza even took McGrady's No. 1 and is the Rockets' third-leading scorer, averaging 16.3 points per game.
The Rockets already knew they'd play this season without Yao, who underwent foot surgery after the season. But Houston is a surprising 18-13 heading into Tuesday's game against New Orleans and with each game, it seemed increasingly clear that McGrady no longer had a clear role on the team.
He came off the bench to average 7.7 minutes in six games and hit only 7 of 19 shots in his brief return. Adelman never firmly said when McGrady's playing time would increase.
McGrady was then granted permission to leave the team before weekend games in New Jersey and Cleveland and returned to Houston.