First, the Orlando Magic were reported to have acquired Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and rookie Moe Harkless for Dwight Howard.
Then, they were reported to have added guard Christian Eyenga, via ESPN.
But, even with five future draft picks over five years added to the mix, the Magic didn't get enough in exchange for the league's best center.
McRoberts, 25, is a decent rebounder (he averaged 8.6 rebounds per 36 minutes last season), but that's about all he adds to a team. He recorded a PER of just 10.9 with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011-2012. He's a bit player after five seasons in the league, and that doesn't figure to change.
Consider what the Magic could have ended up with and you truly get a sense of how poorly they failed in maximizing the return for Howard.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reminded everyone what the Magic could have received for Howard from the New Jersey Nets in July:
Final Nets offer Orlando rejected in July: Lopez, Humphries (1 year, $9.6M), Brooks, 4 unprotected No. 1's for Howard, JRich, Duhon, Clark.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 10, 2012
Kinda puts things in perspective, doesn't it?
It's not just that the Magic came away with ho-hum talent (with the exception possibly being Harkless), it's that they landed just one unprotected first-round pick in the trade (from either the Knicks or the Nuggets in 2014, per ESPN).
How would you grade the Magic's trade?
There's also the fact that they failed to land Andrew Bynum in the deal, and there's no quantitative measure that truly reflects how valuable a franchise center is (win shares may be the closest measure; Howard averaged 13.5 from the 2007 season to the 2010 season).
So, for now, Vucevic is the Magic's starting center instead of Howard or Bynum, and it would be a shock if Orlando made the playoffs next season (or even in 2013-2014).
This has the makings of a "fail" across the board. If you are looking at the level of talent acquired for Howard, the Magic deserve an "F" grade. If you are looking at the potential to build for the future, it's still a below-average deal.
In the end, Howard got his way, and the Magic got nothing to show for it.
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