In a column comparing key moments from the NBA offseason to quotes from the 1988 Martin Brest film Midnight Run, Grantland columnist Bill Simmons (who else, after all, could pen such a piece?) heaped praise on Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan for his work rebuilding the team since taking over for Otis Smith in 2012. Here's how Simmons assesses Hennigan's trade of Dwight Howard in August:
Let's see ... they gave up one year of Howard and ended up with a promising starting center (Nikola Vucevic), a starting 2-guard (Arron Afflalo) and a semi-promising swingman (Mo Harkless) ... they dumped Jason Richardson's semi-unseemly contract on Philly ... they picked up three first-rounders (Denver's 2014 pick, the Lakers' 2017 pick and a far-away-in-the-future Philly pick) ... and they worsened their 2013 team enough that they landed the no. 2 overall pick (Victor Oladipo).
The Sports Guy terms the deal "an outright pillaging" for Hennigan and the Magic. That trade, along with the "hijacking" of Tobias Harris from the Milwaukee Bucks, has Simmons suggesting that "Hennigan could start putting 'Sam Presti 2.0' on his business cards."
Presti is the general manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder, for which organization Hennigan served as an assistant GM before Orlando hired him. As Simmons notes later in the column, the first Presti "landed [Kevin] Durant second, [Russell] Westbrook fourth and [James] Harden third in back-to-back-to-back drafts."
Though Presti has earned praise for his working turning the Thunder's fortunes, he has come under fire in some circles for a miserable 2013 offseason; Steve Perrin of Clips Nation, SB Nation's blog about the Los Angeles Clippers, tackles that subject in this column.