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What was in Rockets offer for Dwight Howard depends on whom you ask

Aug 15, 2012, 10:13 PM EDT

Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Rob Hennigan, the Orlando Magic’s new on the job general manager, and the entire Magic organization is taking a lot of incoming fire — that’s all you got for Dwight Howard?

What they got in a four-team deal that landed Howard with the Lakers was a quality wing in Arron Afflalo, veteran forwards Al Harrington and Josh McRoberts, just drafted Moe Harkless, center Nikola Vucevic, and Christian Eyenga, plus three first-round picks (the worse of Denver’s two picks in 2014, the Sixers lottery-protected pick in 2015 and the Lakers’ 2017 pick); and two second-round picks (Denver’s in the next draft and the Lakers’ in 2015).

Orlando has sold that as a package they can start to rebuild around. Fans and pundits have thought they could do better. Some thought the Nets package was better, but the Magic didn’t want to send Howard to his preferred destination, plus any package built around rebuilding with Brook Lopez is flawed.

But what about the Rockets offer of better picks, more cap relief and young players. Maybe it wasn’t all that great after all. Here is what Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated writes in an interview with Rob Hennigan.

In both the two-team talks with Houston and three-team discussions that involved the Lakers and would have sent center Andrew Bynum to the Rockets, sources said Houston was offering only two first-round picks. From Houston’s perspective, however, the comparative value of the picks far outweighed anything available to the Magic elsewhere and it had been made clear that a third pick could be added “if it got the deal done….

Many assumed that the Rockets’ three first-round picks from this year’s draft — guard Jeremy Lamb and forwards Royce White and Terrence Jones — would be made available in a Howard deal. But sources close to the Magic said Lamb was the only such prospect offered, and that he was off the table by the time the talks involved the Lakers and Lamb had impressed at the Las Vegas summer league in July (he averaged 20 points in five games…

On the Rockets’ side, meanwhile, sources said the message had been sent that the Magic could have one or possibly two prospects from a pool that included Marcus Morris, Patrick Patterson, Lamb, Jones, White and Donatas Motiejunas. Houston offered significant salary-cap relief, but, as had been the case on the topic of young players, never in the form that the Magic wanted.

This is a case of he said/he said.

The Magic are saying the prospects they might have wanted from the Rockets were never formally on the table, but the Rockets are saying they were there as part of the ongoing negotiations. This is how trade talks flow, informal ideas are batted about — like the Rockets say they did — but nothing is put into a formal offer until it is pretty far along. So the Magic can claim the guys were not offered, even though if they had asked those players were.

To me, it’s a little moot. The Magic were going to get far less than market value back. They chose the offer they thought helped their cause the most— and that is key, they chose it, this deal was not forced up on them. They had options, they chose this one. You may have chosen differently, but the bottom like it was going to be the Pu Pu platter of things nobody wants regardless of the choice.

The Magic got what they thought was best. What really matters is how they use the picks and draft the next couple years. Do that well and they will have gotten what they wanted out of the trade.

  1. fanz928 - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    They should’ve got picks Bynum and iggy and trade out Turk and rich or baby

  2. magicbucs - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Bynum wouldn’t commit to Orlando

  3. skinsfanwill - Aug 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    He has been traded. Can we please be done with this guy until the season starts. I’m sick of even hearing his name.

  4. crtzinc - Aug 16, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Man Kurt you really hate that he went to the Lakers, I get it. I’m just glad he is officially a Laker. In regards to the season…Can’t Wait!

    • adzs - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:52 AM

      Kurts a Laker fan….

  5. congocash - Aug 16, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    Yea, Orlando should just be thankful they didnt get Lebron’d….

  6. marksp18 - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:15 AM

    Kurt is struggling to find something to talk about so he has to belabor this deal. He even says himself “it’s a little moot” yet feels the need to try and make Rocket fan feel better about not getting it done.

    I do not know why people think that Morris, Patterson, Lamb, Jones, White, or Motiejunas are going to amount to anything. They have a chance but there is no guarantee. The only veteran Houston had to offer was Kevin Martin who is a volume shooter. Who else did they have that Orlando would have wanted?

    The Magic got back some youth in Vucevic and Harkless both of whom can be just as good as those Houston players if not better. They did not get as good of draft picks but that is assuming Houston was going to give up the Toronto pick. Their own pick probably would be outside the lottery if they got Howard or Bynum.

    Anyone with half a brain knows that Morey was not going to give up the farm to get either Howard or Bynum if he has no assurance that they would resign. Morey has come out and tried to save face but he is full of you know what. He never was going to give away all these players and picks for a maybe. Never.

    And that is why it did not get done. Philadelphia did give up some players and picks to get the guy they wanted in Bynum. That is how you make a deal. By being about it. Not talking about it.

  7. lakerluver - Aug 16, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    We have SUPERMAN, you don’t. End of story. CAN’T WAIT for the season to begin!!

  8. eventhorizon04 - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    “To me, it’s a little moot. They chose the offer they thought helped their cause the most— and that is key, they chose it, this deal was not forced up on them. They had options, they chose this one. You may have chosen differently, but the bottom like it was going to be the Pu Pu platter of things nobody wants regardless of the choice.”

    Why do you keep writing, “The important thing is they chose something,” as if it prevents criticism of the deal?

    Say a salesman has a rare piece of jewelry he’s trying to sell, probably worth millions.
    Guy A offers him $5,000, and guy B offers him stock in Enron (a collapsed company meaning the stock is worthless).

    The salesman takes 3 months to decide then chooses to accept guy B’s offer. Would you say, “The important thing is that the salesman made his choice, and nobody forced him to choose?”

    No – choosing option B was stupid. While Guy A’s offer was still not fair value, it was better than option B. Stop pretending as if all criticism can be waved away just because Hennigan thought really long and hard before arguably making a bad decision.

  9. gmacc85 - Aug 18, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Didn’t you guys post this exact story months ago?? Like word for word??

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