NBA Trade Rumors: Orando Magic Are Wise to Shun Stars in Dwight Howard Deal
Conventional wisdom might suggest that the best replacement for a superstar like Dwight Howard is another superstar.
Andrew Bynum certainly comes to mind.
Sources close to these talks in Las Vegas this week for Summer League explained that Orlando is really not looking for star level talent in return for Howard. As crazy as that may seem the Magic view most of what’s being offered and talked about as undesirable in their long-term vision for the team.
What kind of long-term vision eschews elite talent, you might ask?
General manager Rob Hennigan's, for one.
Orlando's new front office has taken stock of the franchise place in the league pecking order. The writing has been on the wall for some time now, and not just in Howard's instance.
Carmelo Anthony forced his way out of Denver, and Chris Paul bid New Orleans adieu soon thereafter. Howard is only the latest in a series of self-concerned stars who tired of small-market life, preferring instead a spotlight commensurate with their inflamed egos.
With the big names flooding the big markets, the rest of the league's teams have to adjust.
That doesn't necessarily rule big names out. It just means they have to be the right ones, along the lines of Tim Duncan or Kevin Durant.
This kind of standard operating procedure makes it nearly impossible to target someone like Bynum. As Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski points out, Orlando would wind up right back at square one:
Despite Orlando’s desire to make Lakers center Andrew Bynum the centerpiece of a trade package, a significant stumbling block remains in Bynum’s reluctance to commit to a long-term contract if he's traded to the Magic, sources said.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Since the Lakers don't have the valued draft picks or young assets that fit with Orlando's thinking, a third team has to step in and supply the goods.
The result won't be as splashy as some Magic fans might have hoped, but they may be better off for it in the long term. After all, the Denver Nuggets almost knocked off the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, relying heavily on the bounty of assets collected from the New York Knicks in exchange for Anthony.
The New Orleans Hornets appear well on their way to rebuilding in the wake of Chris Paul's exit.
It may take the Magic some time, but patience is a virtue in a well-run organization. Orlando should understand that as well as anyone after watching youth and cap space mortgaged away in an attempt to keep Howard happy.
Short-term struggles aside, Hennigan has the right idea.
Chances are he'll be vindicated soon enough.
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