Geltzeiler: An Open Letter to Rob Hennigan

Dear Rob,

I am writing this letter to you to apologize for my excessive criticism when I rushed to judgement.

As a 34-year-old general manager and Otis Smith’s replacement, I should have cut you some more slack on the impossible spot you inherited by having your first major move as the youngest GM in the NBA being the forced trade of the unhappy Dwight Howard.

The haul that you brought in for Dwight did not seem to me to be fair value for a player of Howard’s caliber, even with him coming off back surgery.

In getting Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington from Denver, Nicola Vucevic and Mo Harkless from Philadelphia and three conditional first-round picks, I thought you didn’t get close to enough, even though you dumped the contracts of Jason Richardson and Chris Duhon.

This site was keen on you even before the Magic hired you, and the rush to judgement post-trade was premature.

You had a deal on the table from the Brooklyn Nets, headlined by Brook Lopez and three first-round picks, that was not as favorable from a financial standpoint (and perhaps from a talent standpoint, given what we are seeing from Vucevic.)

Even though you would have been able to dump both Richardson and Glen “Big Baby” Davis on the Nets, the salary benefit would have been negligible in having to sign Brook Lopez to a max deal and having to sign Kris Humphries to a big three-year deal.

Essentially, in analyzing your Howard deal, I thought you allowed yourself to be pillaged by these three other teams.  It was inconceivable to me how you could have dealt Howard in a deal with Andrew Bynum involved but somehow not end up with Bynum on your team.  Well Rob, you get to be the cat who ate the canary because if you look at how that deal looks for all four teams involved, you are actually the only one who comes out smelling like a rose.

The Philadelphia 76ers are sucking wind from the trade. They gave up Andre Iguodala, Harkless, Vucevic, and a first-round pick for Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson.

Trading Iguodala was actually addition by subtraction because it freed up significant playing time for young stud Evan Turner.

Harkless was a one-and-done college player and as a ways to go before he’ll be a productive rotation player.
The killer part of this deal for the Sixers is that Bynum hasn’t played a game yet because of two bad knees. 

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  1. George says

    Jerry25: “Brook Lopez appears to be the best offensive center in the NBA”

    LOL, dude what are you smoking? You are talking about a center with his bulk who can barely shoot over 50% and can not haul over 7 rebounds a game. Those numbers are not good for a center and even worse given how the league, especially the eastern conference, has gone very small so its not like he’s being guarded by lots of large guys. Throw in the fact he’s 24 and the last three years have been a disaster health wise – never a good sign for a 7 footer who weighs 265 pounds. If Lopez had been able to stay healthy and improve his game, especially his rebounding, it might have been clearer for Hennigan, but I think he was right to not get suckered into taking Lopez and his contract which is going to wind up being an albatross for the Nets.

  2. jerry25 says

    We won’t know the outcome for 1-2 years actually. Brook Lopez (now that Bynum is a mess) appears to be the best offensive center in the NBA, and back to his Rookie yr. of almost 9 rebounds per 36 min. His shot blocking is one of best in NBA. He has bulked up, now that his Mono is history and is still only 24 years young. His defense is better this year and will only improve. Should Brook make it through the season without re-fracturing his foot (the 2nd hairline fracture was apparently related to the 1st fracture not being 100% recovered, but Nets couldn’t admit to that publicly), it is unlikely he will have foot problems in the future. He hadn’t missed a single game before that fracture. His brother had the same injury/surgery years ago, and never had foot problems since. His recent foot sprain (top of foot) was unrelated and Nets kept him out an extra week for caution.
    I’m not even convinced that in a year from now, that Nets would agree to trade Lopez for Howard straight up. Howard has been somewhat disappointing, his FT shooting is terrible, he is still immature and his back problem could flare up again, and he may be past his prime already.

    All of that is secondary to the fact that pre-Hennigan, Magic had at least two other chances to trade with Nets, the first being before last season, in a deal that would have sent Lopez (pre-fracture), Gerald Wallace and MarShon Brooks for Howard.
    There was also the pre-tradeline offer of Lopez, MarShon 3 1st round picks including the 2012 pick that turned out to be #6 (Lillard). Since Howard was already damaged goods at the time (herniated disk), that pick would have been there. It was reported by the NY Post, that the main reason Howard accepted his option year with ORL, is that Smith threatened to trade him to the Lakers right before the deadline, if he didn’t sign.
    Billy King believes that ORL just didn’t want to trade him within the Conference, which is likely correct.

    Finally Hennigan also had the option of waiting until after Jan 15, 2013 and seeing how Lopez and Nets were doing, and craft the best deal for ORL. ORL certainly would have a better record than they do now. ORL didn’t panic when they should have and Did panic when they didn’t need to.

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