Dwight Howard trade rumors have been on the stove for the last 18 months. It was only a matter of time before the big man would whine his way out of Orlando.
Orlando finally orchestrated a four-team trade in which Dwight Howard would be paired with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash on the Los Angeles Lakers. If he even hints that he doesn’t want this move to garner ‘Shaq to Los Angeles’ comparisons, he is delusional. He is duplicating the same career path as him. I hope this doesn’t mean a sequel to “Kazaam” is in the works.
Which teams are in the deal? The players involved may surprise you (one of the players is currently playing on Team USA). The other thing that may surprise you is the lack of assets Orlando will receive in return for Howard. This deal will leave you scratching your head to why they didn’t trade with Brooklyn or Houston, who had better prospects on hand.
Let’s make it easy and list which players will go to each team involved in the trade.
Los Angeles Lakers: C Dwight Howard, F Earl Clark and G Chris Duhon
Philadelphia 76ers: C Andrew Bynum and G Jason Richardson
Denver Nuggets: F Andre Iguodala
Orlando Magic: F Arron Afflalo, F Al Harrington, C Nikola Vucevic, F Moe Harkless, and future protected first-round draft picks from each team. (2014 from Denver, 2015 from Philly and 2017 from L.A.)
I like the hauls that Philadelphia, Denver and L.A. received in this deal. They sent distant future protected first-round picks for pieces to help them immediately…but Orlando’s return is mild. I can see Howard signing an extension with the Lakers. Kobe and Nash will be retired in a few seasons and it will be his team.
Orlando’s main goal was the get Howard out of town. Former GM Otis Smith should have pulled the trigger at the trade deadline, but they didn’t, so they had to settle for this deal.
You know what you’re getting from Afflalo and Harrington, solid guys, but nothing to build a team around. Harkless was the first-round pick in this year’s NBA Draft. He’s a nice young talent who needs a lot of molding. The biggest problem I have is that the draft picks Orlando will receive in this deal is so far out in the future that current GM Rob Hennigan may not be around to enjoy them.
I hope Orlando has a plan to sell a ton of Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis merchandise. I don’t see the Amway Arena selling out, even with a J.J. Redick bobblehead promotion. Orlando has a very long road to recovery in their future. You will see Mr. Hennigan at the NBA Draft Lottery selection show for the many years to come.
The Magic play in L.A. on Dec. 2nd and D’WHINE Howard will be back in Orlando on March 12th…please circle those dates accordingly.