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How it happened
After months of speculation, Orlando finally traded Superman.
Dwight Howard landed in L.A. along with Chris Duhon and Earl Clark. Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson went to Philadelphia. Andre Iguodala was sent to Denver. Orlando’s final haul was Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga, rookie Moe Harkless, three first-round picks, two second-round picks and a $17.8 million trade exception.
What it means
For L.A., their publicized chase of Howard finally paid off.
And it didn’t even cost them Pau Gasol.
Howard is already the superstar big man that Laker fans hoped Bynum one day would be. The only gamble in this deal is that Howard has just one year remaining on his contract, but it’s hard to imagine him walking away from what is clearly the most talented group of teammates he’s ever had.
For Philadelphia, they finally pulled the trigger on a deal for the intriguing Iguodala, but Bynum is a far better prize than anything that had been previously rumored.
The 76ers added their long sought-after franchise player and go-to scorer all in one deal, while adding the veteran sharpshooter Richardson to a growing bunch of Philadelphia marksmen.
For Denver, the Nuggets added yet another piece to coach George Karl’s puzzle.
Iguodala may be the veteran leader that can finally cash in on the tantalizing potential of new teammates JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari. And his ability to distribute could allow the explosive Ty Lawson to focus more on creating his own offense.
For Orlando, their intentions are clear: They hope to bottom out the franchise and rebuild through the draft.
There’s no denying that in this NBA it’s better to be terrible than mediocre.
But it’s hard to praise Orlando for failing to bring back any valuable pieces in return for Howard. After this trade, Orlando’s most valuable asset remains their own draft picks.
Los Angeles: A+