Dwight Howard to LA Lakers: Trade Analysis, Grade and Twitter Reaction
Dwight Howard’s wish has finally come true.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the deal:
Trade call is done with the league office. Dwight Howard has joined the Los Angeles Lakers.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 10, 2012
Not long after, the Magic’s official team website confirmed the announcement.
It remains to be seen if DH12 will re-sign with his new franchise, but he has a year of playing with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash to make that decision—and it likely will be an easy choice to stay.
Twitter and other social media outlets had absolutely exploded in anticipation of the trade going through, and they are still buzzing now that one of the league’s (literally) biggest superstars has been dealt.
Let’s take a look at what exactly went down, try to make sense of it for each team and get some reactions from fans, experts and analysts.
Probasketballtalk.com has the details on who gets what in the blockbuster deal of the summer.
The Los Angeles Lakers receive Dwight Howard, Earl Clark and Chris Duhon.
The Orlando Magic receive Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Mo Harkless, Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga, three first-round draft picks (protected)—Nuggets (2014), 76ers (2015), Lakers (2017)—and two second round picks.
The Denver Nuggets receive Andre Iguodala.
The Philadelphia 76ers receive Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson.
Who Got the Best End of the Dwight Howard Deal?
Obviously, the Lakers received the crown jewel of this trade, but the other teams involved all made their rosters better by joining the fray.
Orlando finally got rid of a petulant diva who had absolutely no desire to stay in the Magic Kingdom. Howard was bringing the franchise down, and the Magic can now begin rebuilding in earnest with all of the newly acquired picks and pieces.
Philadelphia added a legitimate star center in Bynum that will push this fringe-postseason squad over the edge and make it real a competitor in the hyper-competitive Atlantic Division.
The Nuggets finally added a star that is a solid perimeter defender and scorer who will mesh well with their team-oriented offense.
The Los Angeles Lakers are now the team to beat in the NBA. Nash, Kobe, Metta World Peace, Gasol and Howard make up perhaps the best starting unit in the league—although their bench depth leaves something to be desired.
Regardless, GM Mitch Kupchak had no choice but to pull the trigger on this trade, as his squad had been eliminated early in the playoffs in the past two seasons and desperately needed a shakeup.
After acquiring Nash earlier in the offseason, the Lakers completed their transformation back to the top of the league by netting DH12.
This haul isn’t bad for Orlando, despite the fact that it could have gotten a better deal from Brooklyn a month ago.
If you factor that out, the Magic acquired Arron Afflalo, a criminally underrated shooting guard; Al Harrington, a serviceable big off the bench; and Nikola Vucevic, a raw seven-footer who has the ability to stretch the floor and replace Ryan Anderson.
Harry How/Getty Images
The most important part of this deal for Orlando is the fact that it acquired numerous first-round draft picks.
Considering that Howard was—without a doubt—going to walk in free agency next summer, the organization milked a lot of value out of what was essentially going to be a lost season from its best player. The odds of one (or more) of those picks turning into a legitimate NBA stud aren’t bad.
Seriously, this trade cannot be properly evaluated without factoring in the near fact that Howard was walking less than a year from now. That is, without question, the main reason why GM Rob Hennigan consented to this deal.
The only thing that Orlando failed to do was ditch the contract of Hedo Turkoglu. But shedding J-Rich’s salary was a smart move.
Denver acquired a perfect player for their system in Iguodala. He’s a high-level defender, above-average scorer and facilitator and a great leader.
He’s not going to be required to be the top dog on the Nuggets like he was tasked to do in Philly. Iggy is going to be a second or third banana scorer and will excel because of it.
While this trade will not push the Nuggets much closer to becoming real contenders to make the NBA Finals, it positions them to strike in the near future if they can get some luck and make smart moves.
When Philadelphia decided earlier this summer that Kwame Brown would be playing a major role on the team, many fans were upset with the organization’s decision. Now, they can finally breath a sigh of relief, as the Sixers added one of the league’s best young centers (and players in general) in Andrew Bynum.
Any time a franchise can nab a legitimate superstar big for an above-average swingman and the absorption of a bad contract, it must do it.
David Brickley found that the Black Mamba hopes that Howard will be sticking around for quite some time in Hollywood.:
Kobe on Dwight Howard: "The Lakers landed a piece that hopefully will carry the franchise long after I'm gone."— David Brickley (@DavidjBrickley) August 10, 2012
ESPN pointed out just how excellent Howard truly is as a defender. The 26-year-old has already achieved unparalleled greatness in NBA history:
Dwight Howard only man to win 3 consecutive Defensive Player of Year awards. Only Dikembe Mutombo, Ben Wallace won 4 total.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 10, 2012
RealGM found that Pau Gasol thinks highly of his new teammate and that thinks the Lakers could be quite good:
Pau Gasol on Dwight trade: "We have a chance to be really special."— RealGM (@RealGM) August 10, 2012
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld is in awe of how great the Lakers' new-look roster is. Howard was an absolute beast at running the PnR offense with some subpar point guards last season, and he will be a machine with Nash feeding him:
Steve Nash and Dwight Howard running the pick-and-roll is scary all by itself. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in the same lineup is terrifying.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) August 10, 2012
Reg Thomas has a good point: Andrew Bynum certainly must be upset with Dwight Howard today. He was basically told he wasn’t up to par with Superman and was unceremoniously shipped to Philadelphia after helping L.A. to two titles:
Andrew Bynum hates Dwight Howard this morning. Lol— Reg Thomas (@King_Reg_Thomas) August 10, 2012
This should certainly provide some motivation for the young center.
NotBillWalton had a humorous take on why it took so long for why the trade to officially go through:
BREAKING: Dwight Howard trade has been held up. He is unsure if he should sign with a blue or black pen.— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) August 10, 2012
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