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Dwight Howard Trade: Why Nuggets Walk Away Unsung Winner of Blockbuster Deal

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Dwight Howard Trade: Why Nuggets Walk Away Unsung Winner of Blockbuster Deal
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Iguodala is now a Nugget.

The big, four team Dwight Howard trade went down late Thursday night and it seems everyone is talking about the Lakers. The Nuggets won this trade and will be at an advantage in the Western Conference as a defensive, athletic team.

 

Trade Breakdown

The Los Angeles Lakers receive:

C Dwight Howard, F Earl Clark, G Chris Duhon from the Orlando Magic.

The Orlando Magic receive:

F/C Josh McRoberts, G/F Christian Eyenga, a conditional 2015 second-round pick and a conditional 2017 first-round pick from the LA Lakers.

F Moe Harkless, C Nicola Vucevic and a conditional 2015 first-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers.

G Arron Afflalo, F Al Harrington, either Denver or New York's 2013 first-round pick and a 2013 second-round pick from the Denver Nuggets.

They also gained a $17.8 million trade exception.

The Philadelphia 76ers receive:

G Jason Richardson from the Orlando Magic and C Andrew Bynum from the LA Lakers.

The Denver Nuggets receive:

F Andre Iguodala from the Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Harrington and Afflalo defend a Laker here.

What the Nuggets lost:

Forward Al Harrington

Harrington was an excellent sixth man for the Nuggets. He scored 14.2 points per game and was a key asset rebounding. However, the veteran presence he will bring into a young Orlando team is needed and will be a key asset for the Magic in their rebuilding.

 

Guard Arron Afflalo

Arron Afflalo just had the best year of his career with a 15.2 points per game average and proved to be a solid scoring option for the Nuggets. However, they have quite a few options to replace him and picking up Andre Iguodala won't destroy their team. Plus, they did just draft Evan Fournier who can come in off the bench starting out.

 

A 2014 first-round pick (either theirs or New York's depending on conditions in the deal) and a 2014 second-round pick

Trading draft picks in the NBA isn't anywhere close to the same value as trading them in the NFL is. Losing two picks from a draft that is two years away won't have much bearing until four or five years down the line. It takes players at least three years to develop unless they are a true phenom, and that won't happen unless the pick that's traded is in the high lottery area.

David Ramos/Getty Images
Iguodala will do more of this in a Rocky Mountain environment this year.

Gaining Andre Iguodala for spare parts will be the key for the Nuggets

It's not often teams can bring in someone who is a known defensive stopper and one of the most athletic players in the league. It's also unusual for that same player to have a career average of 15.3 points per game. However, the Nuggets did just that.

And they did it for peanuts. They got rid of two absolutely terrible contracts for middle-tier players and with one guy brought in almost as much scoring as the two they lost. Iguodala is also the kind of player that a team can be built around.

He's got energy, defense and leadership. He also has a contract that isn't ridiculously prohibitive like Joe Johnson's was for Atlanta. The only way the Nuggets would lose this one is if Iguodala completely opts out next year and decides to leave Denver for a "super team."

 

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.

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