As the news of Dwight Howard being dealt to the Lakers becomes official, (Confirmed by Adrian Wojnarowski and Ken Berger) Nets fans everywhere collectively were disappointed, some more than others. Because, while the chances of landing Howard had been severely diminished this off-season, there was the underlying thought that as long as Howard was still a member of the Magic, the Nets still were still in play.
Now, as the dust settles and it appears Howard has found his long-term home, the NAS team felt analysis of this trade was necessary, if for no other reason than to provide some snark to the six-month process of the Dwightmare we all endured.
1. Finish the sentence: the Magic got ______.
- Mark Ginocchio: Jobbed. In professional wrestling terms, this was the Barry Horowitz and Iron Mike Sharpe of trade hauls.
- Chris Hooker: Screwed. They failed to find a viable replacement in Andrew Bynum or Brookk Lopez, and they failed to maximize their cap space/bad contract taking in the Houston deal. They pretty much took the worst deal on the board, and traded Dwight to the team nobody wanted him to go to (except Laker fans). In a deal where three All-Stars found new homes, the Magic lost the best one and gained nobody. Ouch.
- Dennis Velasco: JACKED! They gave up the best center in the game (when healthy, which is still uncertain at this point) and didn't even get back the second-best center in Andrew Bynum? What?!?! Okay, cool, cap space and all that is nice, but as Brooklyn Nets fans, we know what having cap space is like and its just sitting there. Who will want to go to Orlando now? I mean, Hedo Turkoglu is the number one option at this point! Personally, I'm a fan of Moe Harkless' game and am glad he'll get a chance to shine in Orlando, but C'MON! You'll never get equal value for a superstar, but the Magic didn't even collectively get anything close to a star... just pieces. And draft picks so down far the road, I wouldn't be surprised if Orlando GM, Rob Hennigan, isn't even around to make those picks.
2. Did the Nets have a better offer?
- Ginocchio: In July? Maybe. In December, definitely. I like Brook Lopez a lot, but understand why another team looking to rebuild wouldn't want him at a max salary, but if Devos and Martins sign off on that deal last year you get a non-max Brook, Gerald Wallace with a player option and five draft picks while dumping Hedo, Richardson and Duhon on the Nets.
- Hooker: I think so. The Magic still have Hedo Turkoglu. They aren't avoiding having to pay a new big contract by taking Al Harrington and nobody they got in the trade is better than Brook Lopez, I don't care what the Twitter consensus is. The deals ranked, in order, Houston, Brooklyn, Atlanta, this one. It's pretty mind-blowing, to be honest.
- Velasco: Of course, it's arguable, but seriously? Yes, they definitely did because at least you'd get an offensively-skilled center in Brook Lopez. Yeah, yeah, all that noise about his lack of rebounding will come up, but he was recovering from mono in the 2010-11 season, as well as Kris Humphries exhibition of blind rebounding that saw him fighting teammates for misses. And last season, Bropez hardly played. I fully expect him to be more focused and get boards and buckets and am glad he's doing it for the Nets and not the Magic. And the Magic would have gotten four draft picks and the same, if not greater, cap relief if the reported Nets offers were taken. C'est la vie... I'm over it. We have our squad and they have theirs. Obviously, there's no question I'm running with ours.
3. Is Brook Lopez officially "off the block?"
- Ginocchio: As Billy King has proven multiple times, he's constantly searching for ways to make the Nets filled with stars. Dwight was obviously the big fish, but if he can find a way to package Lopez for another perennial all-star, Lopez will be gone. However, I doubt his availability will be as public as it was during the Dwightmare.
- Hooker:Yes. I don't know who else in the league is left to drag Brook Lopez facedown in the muck like this, and I can't imagine Billy King is willing to let his center go through this yet again. Brook is going to greatly benefit from having a certain future with the Nets and not one that is plagued by rumors of him going elsewhere. I would be stunned if anyone in the Nets brass publicly put him on the block. If Lopez is traded, it's going to be quick, like the D-Will or Johnson trade, which, looking back, appears to be the only way a Nets trade actually will get done.
- Velasco: No player is ever "off the block" other than perhaps LeBron James. Seeing Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, arguably the best at their positions, being traded within a year shows you that no one is ever safe in this league. Period.