Here are a couple of quotes from this morning to help slow down the "WUT ABOUT HOUSTON'S OFFER?!?" questions. Or perhaps speed them up. We'll start with a quote from Magic GM Rob Hennigan, courtesy of ClutchFans:
Magic GM on Houston's offer:"You look at what's available in theory & what's available in reality & sometimes those things aren't the same."
— ClutchFans.net (@clutchfans) August 10, 2012
And then there is this, from SI.com's Zach Lowe:
In a Howard trade, Houston could have offered several young players on rookie contracts and draft picks (including a near-certain lottery pick from the Raptors) while absorbing Richardson's deal and likely Duhon's or Quentin Richardson's. That is a better return than what Orlando got here, which leads me to believe that something about the Rockets' offer has been overstated - the availability of that precise package; Orlando's patience in waiting for Houston's recently signed picks to become trade-eligible (about a month away); Orlando's affection for Houston's first- and second-year players; or Houston's willingness to gamble on Howard without assurances that he would stay beyond next season. I'm confident that the Rockets' willingness was real, and that they were open to taking on at least the Richardson/Duhon deals, so I'm not sure why the Magic accepted this trade over Houston's package.
Good insight from Lowe, and a helpful quote from Dave Hardisty. You have to check yourself sometimes to see if an NBA executive could really be that stupid. Teams always make moves for a reason — you have to wonder in this case what exactly that reason was, but perhaps there's a chance that we could be prematurely labeling Rob Hennigan a dunce when in fact he never got the offer that was reported.
And that's where His Wojness moves in for the kill:
HOU offered ORL $12M in space (instead of Afflalo), recent 1st picks, future lottery and unprotected picks. Would've taken bad deals (cont.)— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 10, 2012
(cont.) and no need to take on Harrington contract.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 10, 2012
I'm sure there are a few details missing here, but on the surface it's a fair offer from Houston compared to what the Magic actually got. I suppose Orlando really wanted a bunch of mid-twenties first-round picks, a good player in Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington instead. Not the choice I would have made for a long-term overhaul, but maybe Orlando is trying to bounce back soon. With Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington.
As I've said before, I'm cool with losing Howard as long as the Rockets are finally ready to commit to rebuilding. It makes too much sense at this point to avoid it. The Star Market has mostly dried up for the next year or two, and that's assuming the Rockets will make a hard run at Chris Paul before he ultimately decides on a different team. The Rockets certainly tried to make a big trade happen, and now that it hasn't, this team should spend a year or two in the cellar before committing to a core.