The "Dwight"mare is Over
The Orlando Magic have completed a trade that will send super star center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. Dwight Howard will go to the Lakers and play alongside Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and recently acquired point guard Steve Nash. This will make the Lakers instant favorites in the Western Conference surpassing the Oklahoma City Thunder. The deal came as a bit of a shock to me as I had assumed the Lakers would have had to give up Gasol in any deal for D12. They did not, here's how:
In order for the deal to get done between the Magic and Lakers other teams were needed to offset some of the pieces and salary cap issues that would naturally occur. Those two teams ended up being the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76'ers. The Nuggets received one of the most underrated players in the game in Andre Iguodala. The 76'ers made the best of the situation bringing in Andrew Bynum and sharpshooter Jason Richardson.
So what did the Magic get after all the drama? They got a load off their mind, the constant pressure put on them by Dwight really had that organization in flux this whole off season and for a majority of last year. In terms of players and picks they came away with a lot of good young talent. The Magic brought in Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, the 76'ers first round pick this year Moe Harkless and a first round pick from the other three teams that were involved in the deal.
The Magic did a decent job in the deal but if I had to grade each team that was involved...
Los Angeles Lakers A
Getting Howard and keeping Gasol makes them the early favorites to win it all. How can the Heat match up down low with Gasol and Howard? It hurts to mortgage the future but when it comes down to it, i think the Lakers nailed the trade.
Denver Nuggest B
Andre Iguodala is a nice piece for the Nuggets as they look to continue to build and compete. Pairing A.I. with Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried seems to make sense as he will fit their uptempo offense and play solid defense for a team that ranked 29th in points allowed last year.
Orlando Magic D
You can never get "better" after you trade away one of the best players in the game, but they did make some good long term pick ups. Harkless, who I was not high on in my NBA Draft Grades (in fact I called him getting traded), doesn't have the brightest future although he has some good skills that should translate to the NBA. Afflalo is a nice young two-guard to have in your starting five but when you take a step back and look it over, your team just fell out of the playoffs.
Philadelphia 76'ers TBD
Andrew Bynum is a great player to roster; however, he will bring some drama to the city of brotherly love. If the 76'ers don't lock up Bynum to at least a 5 year extension this deal may end up destroying what was a growing and developing team. That's why I have the 76'ers grade as to be determined.
August 9th, 2012