Upon completion of one of the most gargantuan blockbuster trades in recent memory, the Dwight-mare saga has officially ended.
In a battle between the experienced Mitch Kupchak and Rob Hennigan, the first-year GM Hennigan panicked and succumbed into making one of the most—if not the most—foolish deal of this current offseason.
Most fans will remember that just a few weeks (and months) ago, the Magic front office was entertaining many scenarios that centered around bringing in a legitimate scoring big man in Brook Lopez.
In order to sweeten the deal for the Magic, who reportedly wanted to rebuild with draft picks, they also included four unprotected draft picks. Oh, did I mention the part about the Nets possibly absorbing Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark as part of the Lopez deal?
Now, don't forget there was another willing trade partner in the Houston Rockets, who essentially turned their roster upside down in order to appeal to the Magic as much as possible. According to a recent ESPN article, the Rockets were willing to take back the horrid contracts of Davis, Richardson and Duhon, as well as offering the plethora of draft picks that the Magic were so adamantly insisting back in return for their disgruntled superstar.
Fast-forward a couple weeks later and we learn the the Magic only waited out this debacle to receive what ESPN reports to be Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and three protected first-round picks. The "protected" labeling hovering around these picks means that the Magic are not in a position to receive the high picks they desire.
In other words, the Magic front office was fully and embarrassingly heisted by their three partners in this trade.
The Philadelphia Sixers received the second-best center in the league in Andrew Bynum, the Denver Nuggets received a lockdown defender and do-it-all swingman in Andre Iguodala, and the Lakers received the best end of the bargain in superstar Dwight Howard.
Take this fact into consideration: All of the other teams beside the Magic received, at minimum, an All-Star caliber talent in the deal.
The Magic, on the other hand, received quality players, but no players worth rebuilding around. Plus, they failed to unload most of their bad contracts in this calamity of a trade. Quite frankly, I would not be the least surprised if the Magic legitimately challenged the seemingly unbreakable record of ineptitude showcased by the Charlotte Bobcats this past season.
Yes, other GMs in the league hand out bad contracts on a regular basis, but never have such dealings culminated with such disastrous results. I'm sure Hennigan is not a bad person, but his actions make it nearly impossible to defend how he pushed the Magic's future off the bridge overnight.
Rob Hennigan, at age 30, is the youngest general manager in the league—he has a long road ahead of him if he wants to continue being employed as such.
I'm sure Otis Smith will sleep well now, because there is a new champion in town—the most inept GM in the Association.