March 14, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) loses control of the ball against the defense of Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (center) and shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the second half at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

2012 NBA Offseason: Dwight Howard Heads to the Los Angeles Lakers in a Four Team Trade

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We have all woken up from our horrible Dwightmare. Dwight Howard is going to the Lakers in a blockbuster four team trade involving the 76ers, the Nuggets and of course the Magic.

The quick breakdown:

  • Philadelphia receives Andrew Bynum from the Lakers and Jason Richardson from Orlando
  • Denver gets Andre Iguodala from the 76ers
  • Orlando gets Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless from the Sixers, Josh McRoberts and Christian Eyenga from the Lakers, Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington from Denver, as well as a first round pick from each team along with a second round pick from the Nuggets and Lakers
  • Dwight Howard also brings Chris Duhon and Earl Clark to Los Angeles with him.

The fact that the Lakers kept Pau Gasol to pair with Dwight in the frontcourt makes the Lakers the obvious short term winner in the deal. Think about a first team of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Ron Mettartest World Peace whatchamacallit. Pair that with Steve Blake, Antawn Jamison, Jordan Hill, and others off the bench and you have a team that is the outright favorite in the West and one that asserts itself as 1A to the Miami Heat’s #1 status.

From the Magic’s perspective, considering that Dwight was holding them hostage by demanding a trade ruining any leverage they may have had, they came out with a decent package that allows themselves to jumpstart the rebuilding process. They would have been foolish to try to wait around for a deal similar to the return Denver got for Carmelo Anthony. Vucevic and Harkless are promising young players, though untested, that can learn alongside Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn as recent draft picks. Considering the best holdovers from last year’s team are Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick, Hedo Turkoglu and Glen “Big Baby” Davis, the  Magic will look to bottom out quickly then rebuild through the draft with the multitude of picks at their disposal in the coming years.

Denver and Philadelphia were auxiliary components in this trade but rather interesting in their own right. After signing Nene to a long term deal (5 years at $13 million a year) before trading him for JaVale McGee, Denver went a similar route by signing Arron Afflalo (5 years at $7.75 million a year) then flipping him and a quickly declining Al Harrington to get Andre Iguodala, who is owed a little less than $15 million this year with a player option for almost $16 million in 2013. He joins Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler on the wings in the Mile High City. Those three joined with Ty Lawson, McGee, Kenneth Faried and others makes for a fun up-and-down relentless attack. I’d say the Nuggets got better with this trade but still no better than middle of the pack in the brutal Western Conference.

Andrew Bynum was born and raised in middle New Jersey, less than an hour away from Philadelphia, so the Sixers seem to be trying to woo him to a long term deal in a city close to home after the season. Jason Richardson is an interesting piece as well to fill the void without Iguodala. The 76ers went for broke, trading away their best player, though disgruntled, as well as young assets and a first round pick. It makes them a better team in 2012-13 (as well as preventing a laughable Spencer Hawes-Kwame Brown starting frontcourt), but if Andrew Bynum leaves in free agency, they will rue this trade.

From the Atlanta Hawks angle, this is a disappointment for the patrons of Philips Arena. One would think that Los Angeles is now the odds on destination for Dwight to sign a longterm deal, leaving the Hawks with a very slim to none chance of landing the hometown kid. They might have to turn their attention to Andrew Bynum or a the chances Chris Paul could get crowded out of the Los Angeles spotlight in the summer of 2013. Danny Ferry will most likely have to get creative next year, although he’s already proven himself capable of transforming a roster before our eyes.

Unless Dwight changes his mind again…

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Tags: Al Harrington Andre Iguodala Andrew Bynum Andrew Nicholson Arron Afflalo Atlanta Hawks Chris Duhon Chris Paul Christian Eyenga Danilo Gallinari Denver Nuggets Dwight Howard Earl Clark Glen Davis Hedo Turkoglu J.J. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Richardson JaVale McGee Josh McRoberts Kenneth Faried Kobe Bryant Kwame Brown Kyle O'Quinn Los Angeles Lakers Metta World Peace Moe Harkless Nene Nikola Vucevic Orlando Magic Pau Gasol Philadelphia 76ers Spencer Hawes Steve Nash

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