An argument could be made that the Oklahoma City Thunder got as much, if not more value in a trade for sixth man James Harden than the Orlando Magic received in the trade for Dwight Howard -- the most dominant, dynamic big man in the NBA.
Martin would probably be considered the best of all the players received by both the Magic and the Thunder in the two trades.
But don't blame the Magic for not getting max value for Howard, blame Howard. He held all the cards and could essentially veto any deal by not signing a long-term contract with any potential Magic trade partner. Harden, in contrast, has already agreed to sign a long-term deal with Rockets before the season begins.
Howard could have done the Magic a favor by giving them a list of three or four teams he would have agreed to play for long-term. That would have allowed the Magic to trade Howard to the highest bidder. Instead, Howard apparently gave them a list of one team: The Brooklyn Nets.
Good thing the Lakers have the cache, tradition and ego to have gambled on being able to sign Howard long-term after this season. If not, the Magic might have received even less value for their superstar center.Email me at email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter @BianchiWrites. And listen to my Open Mike radio show every Monday-Friday from 6-9 a.m. on 740 The Game.