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.