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Report: Couple teams wish Magic would’ve called before trading Tobias Harris to Pistons

Tobias Harris

Detroit Pistons forward Tobias Harris brings the ball upcourt during the first half of an NBA basketball against the New Orleans Pelicans, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)


That’s all the Magic got?

That was the common reaction to Orlando’s 2014 Arron Afflalo trade, which netted Evan Fournier and the No. 56 pick. But it turns out Magic general manager Rob Hennigan could’ve gotten a first-rounder. He just – correctly in hindsight – preferred Fournier.

So, does Hennigan deserve the benefit of the doubt on last week’s trade of Tobias Harris to the Pistons for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova – a deal that elicited similar “that’s it?” reaction.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

A couple of teams wish the Magic had called, but it’s unclear if they would have offered anything better.

Would those teams have made better offers? They seem to think so, or what’s the use grumbling? (Besides discrediting a rival general manager and making yourself better by comparison.)

If those general managers actually believe they would’ve presented an offer more appealing to Orlando than Detroit’s, that’s a decent strike against Hennigan. But those other GMs don’t know the exact goals of the Magic, who cleared major cap room for next summer.

Would anyone have traded expiring contracts without something like Ilyasova’s $400,000 guarantee attached? That’s a paltry amount, but if Orlando value just the cap space, it’s something.

Would anyone have traded expiring contracts and a draft pick? Even a second-rounder would’ve been more than the Pistons conveyed.

Would anyone have made a convincing case to take Harris in the summer for better return? That arrangement would require trust, but there might have been more suitors in the offseason, when a majority of teams will have enough cap space to absorb Harris’ contract.

Did the Magic specifically value Jennings and Ilyasova? Those veterans could help with the unlikely playoff push some in Orlando still want to make before turning into cap space this summer.

It’s possible Hennigan knew everyone’s cards, and he deserves some benefit of the doubt after the Afflalo deal. But the idea he left a better offer on the table because he didn’t ever hear it still lingers, especially because I’m still left wondering:

That’s all the Magic got?