Dwight Howard in the Land of Angels

Dwight Howard is a Los Angeles Laker. Well, er, um, not officially yet. But it will be official soon according to most reports. The Lakers are currently finalizing the deal as I’m writing this to you. I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up having to edit this and what not. I truly hate editing because of circumstance change…but anyway it looks as if the deal is going to go down.

Here are the parameters of the deal according to Y! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Lakers will send All-Star center Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers, who also will receive shooting guard Jason Richardson from the Orlando Magic. The Sixers will send guard Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets. The Magic will receive Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, rookie swingman Moe Harkless, three first-round draft picks and a 2013 second-round pick from the Nuggets (by way of Golden State). In addition to Howard, the Lakers will also receive Earl Clark and Chris Duhon from the Magic.

Lakers Get

  • Dwight Howard
  • Earl Clark (Worth 1.2 mil and expires next year)
  • Chris Duhon (7.2 mil over next two seasons)

Magic Get

  • Arron Afflalo
  • Al Harrington (Worth about 21 mil over 3 years)
  • Nikola Vucevic
  • Josh McRoberts
  • Christian Eyenga
  • Moe Harkless
  • Three first round protected picks
  • 2013 second round pick

76ers Get 

  • Andrew Bynum
  • Jason Richardson (Worth 12 mil over next two years excluding player option of about 6 mil)

Nuggets Get

  • Andre Iguadola

My initial thoughts from the trade are pretty simple. I think Los Angeles pulled a fast one on the NBA once again. They’ve clearly had the best offseason out of anyone in the NBA. They pulled Steve Nash out of the gutter for virtually nothing and now they pulled Dwight Howard out of a magic hat (no pun intended but you can think of it as being intended if you’d like for entertainment purposes) without taking in a single terrible contract. Not to mention that they’ll be a gazillion dollars over the cap this season. What was the NBA lockout for again?

I don’t think that they’re better than the Oklahoma City Thunder, still. I think they’ll have the best defense in the NBA because of the size that they have in their front court. Dwight Howard may be the best weak-side help defender in the NBA and Pau Gasol is great at playing man to man defense on bigs that require a single cover. He’s also a good rim protector as well so it will be difficult to get there without spacing the floor.

Offensively, this team could be great or it could be horrible. I don’t know how the dynamic of these four stars will work. There will definitely be a post on how that will work out, but I’d like to wait until the dust settles for that one. To give you a sneak peak, I don’t know if Kobe Bryant is willing to relegate himself to 12-15 shots per game. If that doesn’t happen, Steve Nash will be very limited as a point guard because his strength is being on ball. A Dwight Howard/Steve Nash PnR will be a deadly but it would take a lot of sacrifice from Bryant to have it work out.

In other words, its going to take Phil Jackson to make all of these players mesh. They also have a lack of depth from off of the bench–yes I know they have Antawn Jamison and Jordan Hill. They both suck.

The 76ers look like they’ll be fighting for at least a five seed in the East, which is pretty bad for my Wizards next season. I don’t know about Bynum’s fit there though. He’s the kind of big that doesn’t flourish in the open floor which is the way that Philadelphia likes to play. He’s one of the best low block threats in the NBA right now, but to have him do that requires Philly to slow down their game and deliver him the ball. With all of their young players, I don’t know if they are ready to do that or if they are willing even. I believe in Doug Collins as a coach, but this is going to require some definite work.

The Nuggets are the Nuggets. They just got a super athletic upgrade at the wing for Arron Afflalo which is something that they should enjoy. Iggy is awesome at the transition game that the Nuggets love to play. Now they’ll play him at the two where he probably belongs anyway. They’re better at exactly what they did last year. I’ll provide a post for this in the near future also. Pay attention to the twitter feed so I can link you to it if its not on WLOTF.

And last but not least, the Magic. If there looks to be a loser in this trade, its them. The best thing that they got out of this deal was three protected draft picks. That could be huge for them as they wallow in the deepest depths of the NBA for the next few years. They can flip those pieces for high picks or a really good piece to compliment the start that they get. If things go according to the way that the timeline says they should, they should be receiving the next coming of Tracy McGrady sometime soon but you never know.

The Magic have a plan in here somewhere, but no one has been able to figure it out as of yet. I’m looking over it now and Afflalo and Harrington are both eligible to expire in the 2014-15 season. A few names are in that free agent class like Rajon Rondo, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Love. They could be looking ahead there. Or they could just be plain building through the draft, which is the more likely scenario, and trying to take in as many bad contracts as possible to keep them in the basement of the NBA. After all, the awful contracts can be moved if needed. This offseason has proven that no contract is immovable at the end of the day.

Whatever the case is, stay tuned. As soon as I hear something I’ll be back with more. Til then, my friends.

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2 responses to “Dwight Howard in the Land of Angels

  1. I think this trade catapults the lakers right there with okc as the top two in the west. Strengthening the bench an adding two all-stars, one of which is the former 3time DPOY not to mention you still have that guy Kobe.

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