The Magic have taken plenty of flack for the Dwight Howard deal, but it could be the first step in a return to title contention, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. He looks at the machinations that GM Rob Hennigan is undertaking, and says the team will have enough room under the cap to offer a maximum contract next summer, and another max deal in 2014. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com tweeted the night of the trade that Orlando could have as much as $20MM available in 2014, which should be enough for one max offer, but not two. Zach Lowe of SI.com isn't sure they'll have enough for any max offer this summer unless they make a few more moves (Twitter links). A lot could happen between now and then, but for the time being, we've got plenty more on the effects of the trade on the first full day of business since it was finalized on Friday:
- In the same piece, Kennedy writes that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said negotiating with Hennigan was a challenge because the new Magic GM insisted on exploring every avenue before committing to a deal. “To credit Rob Hennigan, the GM of Orlando Magic, it got to the point for me where it was quite frankly frustrating,” Kupchak said. “But what he was doing was his job, which was to sort out and seek out the best possible deal for the organization.”
- The Magic's offer from the Rockets wasn't as enticing as reports have indicated, Kennedy says. Houston was willing to give up prospects and picks or take back expensive contracts, but not both.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel says it's clear the Magic didn't receive equal value in return for Howard, but believes the results of several different variables will determine just how the trade will be measured in the long run.
- Sixers president Rod Thorn revealed a few interesting tidbits on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, and Brag Gagnon of Sports Radio Interviews has the transcription. Thorn said he was talking to the Magic about Andre Iguodala, but Orlando didn't want to acquire him, and that's when the Nuggets became involved. Thorn was interested in making a move in part because he felt the Sixers had reached their ceiling last year and couldn't achieve more.
- Thorn also spoke about the possibility of signing Andrew Bynum to an extension, saying, “Over the course of the season, if he’s happy and he’s healthy, we’ll certainly do everything we can do re-sign him. And we certainly are in the driver’s seat because we can give him an extra year and obviously more money. But to me, if he’s happy, he’s going to want to sign here. So I think it was a risk, anything you do there’s a risk. But if you’re going to take a risk, always take it on somebody who could be a special player.”
- Bynum is heading to Germany for the same experimental knee procedure that's aided Kobe Bryant, Grant Hill and others, John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. It's unclear whether the Orthokine/Regenokine treatment will be performed on one knee or both, but Mitchell hears Bynum isn't currently experiencing any knee pain and is undergoing the non-surgical procedure to help ward off injury.