After wanting out of Orlando for what it seemed like forever, the Dwight Howard era in Orlando (The Dwightmare) is finally over. The Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic have agreed to a trade that will bring former Magic superstar Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, Andre Iguodala will go to Denver, Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson to Philadelphia and Aaron Affalo, Al Harrington, two 2013 2nd rounders, Christian Eyenga, Josh Mcroberts Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and a protected future first rounder from every team included in the deal to Orlando.
Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum will be free agents after the next season, however, both players won't sign an extension now with their new teams because they can get more money in the summer. The Sixers and the Lakers are taking a risk, but a risk well worth it.
Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, Chris Duhon
Aaron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Christian Eyenga, Josh Mcroberts, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, three 1st rounders and two 2nd rounders.
Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson
It puzzles me that Orlando new general manager, Rob Hennigan, decided to pull the trigger on this deal considering he had way better offers for Dwight before, especially from the Houston Rockets and the Brooklyn Nets, that's basically what he got after holding on to Dwight for too long.
The Rockets at one point were willing on grabbing Hedo Turkoglu, Chris Duhon, Glen Davis and Jason Richardson off the magic hands, while also giving them two out of the three rookies they got in this year draft (Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones) and in TOP of that, some young players like Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson.
The Brooklyn Nets were also willing to offer their entire team for Dwight Howard and Hennigan didn't pull the trigger. The Nets final offered included Brook Lopez, Kris Humprhies, Marshon Brooks and 4 unprotected 1st rounders. Enough? they were also ok with getting the contracts of Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark.
However, before proclaiming this trade as the worst trade of all time, let's remember Vucevic and Harkless are a 2nd year player and rookie respectively, three first rounders can make them get talent in a hurry, the Magic won't be any good meaning they will receive a high first rounder of their own as well and Aarron Afflalo is a shooting guard that averaged 15.2 PPG last year and he is only 26 years old. Al Harrington contract doesn't look as bad as initially thought, Harrington's next two years are partcially guaranteed . The biggest downfall of the trade for Orlando was not getting lottery picks, even Kyle Lowry got traded for a lottery pick. In words of Mark Jackson "You're better than that, Hennigan"
Getting Dwight Howard to Los Angeles was a brilliant (and risky) move by the Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and the Buss Family. Howard has similar qualities as former center Andrew Bynum, although, Howard is the better player of the two. Los Angeles now have a "big four" consisting of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, this season will be title or bust for them.
Now the Lakers won't have to rely on Kobe Bryant scoring to be in games, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard are capable of scoring at least 20 points when needed & Pau Gasol can still do it too. Kobe won't also get to work hard to get his points, there's less room for double teams or if he's doubled, his teammates can pick up the slack.
The only "risky" part of the trade for the Lakers, is the fact that Dwight won't sign the extension right away, if he indeed stays in Laker land longer than this season, he will sign a new contract next summer. The point of doing this? Howard wants to do this to get more money, he can't get the same amount if he extends his current contract, rather than singing a new one in free agency. Howard could also leave Los Angeles after this season and join any other team, that would really leave them with no true center and basically would have traded Andrew Bynum (who wanted to extend with LA) for just a season of Dwight.
The Lakers also got veteran point guard Chris Duhon and young player Earl Clark from Orlando. Duhon is 30 years old and only averaged 4 PPG in 63 games for Orlando, Clark is 24 yrs old and averaged just 3 PPG in 45 games.
The Sixers will be getting something they needed badly, a low post scorer. Andrew Bynum's 7th year run in Los Angeles is over, Bynum was the 10th overall pick in 2005 and improved every year. Bynum averaged a career high 19 PPG and 12 RPG last season.
Philly now have someone that can dominate the paint and will forced to be double teamed often by opponents. Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Bynum will be a fun core to follow. The Sixers also got Jason Richardson, he has three years left on his contract and he will likely be move, don't think he fits the Sixers plans. With the loss of Iguodala, the Sixers free up time to play give Evan Turner more minutes.
Last but not least, the Denver Nuggets received Andre Iguodala from the Sixers while only giving up Aaron Afflalo, a future 2nd rounder and sending away Al Harrington's contract, with Iguodala, the Nuggets get an outstanding defender and a player that is used to having the experience (and pressure) to be the leader of a team. Iguodala averaged 12 PPG, 6 RPG, 6 APG & 2 SPG. Iguodala is only 28 and will fit right away with the Nuggets style of play.
Denver now has a core of Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov and Javale Mcgee. The Western conference just got scarier.
*Note: Adrian Wojnarowski, Marc Stein and Eric Pincus broke different details of the proposed trade, i believe Woj was the first one to say talks were happening.