The NBA may be in offseason mode, but the Dwight Howard saga is finally over thanks to the multi-team trade that sent him to Los Angeles. With the dust still clearing on this landscape-changing trade, let's take a look at what some top NBA personalities are saying.
Rob Mahoney, New York Times
The Orlando Magic's haul of Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and Maurice Harkless in this four-team deal does not impress Mahoney and understandably so.
The Times writer said in a recent article that "this [trade] at best a highly questionable deal for the Magic."
Brook Lopez or Andrew Bynum are far better options than Vucevic and Harrington, and the Magic could have had the superior two of these if management traded Howard several weeks ago.
Overall though, Orlando received a whole bunch in return for its star player, and that's better than absolutely nothing, which is what the team would have received if Howard got to free agency.
That being said, even when you add the three protected first-round draft picks to this equation, it's hard not to think the Magic could have received more if they dealt earlier.
Shaquille O'Neal, TNT
Former Magic and Laker star Shaquille O'Neal has openly criticized Magic management for agreeing to this trade, taking to his personal Twitter account to do so. The man once called Superman tweeted:
An old nba addage we have to get worse to get better, that's true but what happens when u get worser aka more worse than the worse answa dat— SHAQ (@SHAQ) August 10, 2012
O'Neal seems to be right in line with Mahoney's thoughts on the matter, raising an interesting point, albeit in a hard-to-understand manner. The Magic have effectively lost their best player and don't have anyone on the roster they can rely on to take over as the team's dominant force.
Getting worse to get better is indeed an old NBA philosophy as Shaq pointed out, but the Magic have set their timeline back to relevancy further than need be.
Considering what else has been offered for its former center, Orlando could have cut multiple years off the rebuilding period if one of the other aforementioned offers was taken.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
As Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today tweeted out earlier, Team USA and Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant isn't the least bit interested in the Howard trade news. Durant told Zillgitt the following:
Kevin Durant on Dwight Howard going to Lakers: "I really don't care."— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) August 10, 2012
While Royce Young of CBS Sports chalks this KD quote up to him having confidence in the Thunder, my purely speculative reaction is that he feels like most of the NBA world does.
The Howard saga has been full of more drama and "will he, won't he" talk than LeBron James' summer a few years ago before deciding to take his talents to South Beach.
Again, I haven't personally chatted with Durant, but he's probably just as happy to hear this thing is finally over with and the Howard trade discussions can effectively stop.
KD is clearly focused on bringing home an Olympic gold medal from London and isn't thinking about the latest NBA trade.