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What deals were the Magic offered for Dwight? Hennigan praised as details emerge.

2012 August 16
by Brian Serra

Sometimes deals are not always as they appear. As expected, as time goes on more and more of the backroom details of the Dwight Howard wheeling and dealing is starting to emerge. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated wrote a very nice breakdown of Orlando General Manager Rob Hennigan for Sports Illustrated, in which he outlines the deals presented by both Brooklyn and Houston. Also in his piece, Hennigan is showered with praise by several league executives who spoke with Hennigan throughout this process.

Details as follows, quoted material all comes directly from Amick’s SI article.

Nets Deal: “Sources with knowledge of the talks said that wasn’t the case with Brooklyn’s most recent proposal. Before Brook Lopez’s re-signing on July 11 ended the talks with the Nets because he could no longer be included in the deal, the Magic — who had a chance to get four first-round picks (with Nets guard MarShon Brooks being traded to the Clippers, or some other third team, in exchange for one of the picks) — had been against the idea of saddling their payroll with Lopez on a maximum contract (four years, $61 million) or, to a much lesser degree, power forward Kris Humphries on a deal that would guarantee him about $10 million next season. Most, if not all, of those picks would likely have all been late first-rounders based on any reasonable projections of the Nets’ future (and that of the Clippers, if they had signed off on that deal).”

Rockets Deal:  “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). Meanwhile, unwanted players like Gary Forbes, Jon Brockman and Marcus Morris were made available (along with shooting guard Kevin Martin, whose expiring $12.9 million contract was a must to make the money work).

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 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 also included two first round picks (Toronto and Dallas) and a potential third.

Basically the deal would have ended up with the Magic gaining Kevin Martin, 2-3 first round picks and a potential combination of mid-1st round talent (all selected after Harkless). And the salary cap relief was not as originally reported either. Houston was never taking all of Orlando’s bad contracts, especially after signing Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik.

You can read my full review of the trade here. You can read how the complexities of a 4-way trade happened here.

“What’s available in theory and what’s available in reality aren’t necessarily the same. At the end of the day, we’re happy with the net result of the trade considering the circumstances.” -Rob Hennigan speaking to the media last week after the trade.

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