ESPN scribe and The Book of Basketball author Bill Simmons has published the 2012 installment of his annual NBA Trade Value column, wherein he ranks the league's top trade assets. The Orlando Magic are reasonably well represented, with their top two players appearing in the top 50: power forward Ryan Anderson (50th) and All-Star center Dwight Howard (6th).
Anderson is valuable, Simmons says, because of his productivity (16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds) relative to his salary ($2.24 million). He notes that Otis Smith, the Magic's President of Basketball Operations, "landed Ryan Anderson as a throw-in for the Vince Carter trade with New Jersey; he ended up being signficantly better for them than Vince.
Howard's story is a bit different, as he had finished in 2nd in each of Simmons' last three trade value columns before dipping in 2012. The reason is fairly simple: the five players ahead of Howard--in descending numerical order, they are Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James--are "completely and utterly untouchable" via trade, whereas Howard can be had for the right price.
Was Simmons fair in his assessments of Anderson and Howard? Should another of Orlando's players appeared in the top 50?