In a massive, four-team deal, Dwight Howard is officially headed to the Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN broke the story late Thursday evening that four teams agreed to a blockbuster trade that is sure to affect the balance of power in the league.
Howard is far from the only superstar set to change locations in the deal. ESPN's Marc Stein reported that the Lakers are sending center Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Sixers will send swingman Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets in the four-team deal. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, who first broke news of the deal, confirmed Friday afternoon that the deal was done.
Trade call is done with the league office. Dwight Howard has joined the Los Angeles Lakers.—Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 10, 2012
In exchange for Howard, the Orlando Magic will receive Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington and Nikola Vucevic as well as a protected first-round pick from each of the three teams involved in the deal.
The 76ers will also receive Jason Richardson from the Magic, and the Sixers are sending their most recent first-round pick, Moe Harkless, to Orlando.
The Lakers have made it known in recent years that they're willing to move their young star at center—for the right price. They got the price they were looking for, and were able to even hold onto All-Star power forward Pau Gasol in the process. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, along with the rest of Laker nation, have got to be ecstatic.
It doesn't seem apparent upon first glance that the Magic were big winners in this deal, but they can finally move on from the dilemma that has rocked their franchise for a long, long time. They may not be playoff contenders at the moment, or in the near future, but they can finally start rebuilding under new GM Rob Hennigan and head coach Jacque Vaughn.
It was far from expected that two playoff contenders would help this deal to get done, but that's exactly how it happened. The 76ers and Nuggets are both desperate to build off last season's success and made big-time moves for their respective franchises in the process.
While leaving a team like L.A. will be heartbreaking, Bynum could end up happier than ever in Philadelphia. He'll be playing his home games just an hour away from his hometown of Plainsboro and can finally assume his rightful spotlight as a franchise player.
There's no doubt that his pride took a hit throughout all of these trade talks, and heading to Philadelphia is just what the doctor ordered for Bynum.
It looks like each team got their man, or in Orlando's case, got rid of their man. In turn, the landscape of the NBA has drastically changed.