When the dust settles, the Dwight Howard saga will have far-reaching implications.
After a year and a half filled with trade talk, player demands, and never-ceasing rumors and sources, Dwight Howard has finally found a new home. The new blockbuster deal has reportedly been a 4-team trade, and with the league’s blessing, Dwight Howard will be a Laker, Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson will be Sixers, Andre Iguodala will be a Nugget, and Arron Afflalo, Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, and Al Harrington will be a part of the Orlando magic along with future 1st round draft picks.
If this trade does get approved, Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic will have impacted the league and its players in a big way.
Los Angeles Lakers
First off, this trade puts Mitch Kupchak in rarefied territory. In two years, Kupchak has been able to acquire Chris Paul (although vetoed), Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and other solid role players to bolster the Lakers’ roster. Each trade has had its own shock value, as it seemed to come out of nowhere. Both Kupchak and Jim Buss, a person who took some flak early on for a few of his stances, have done a commendable job for reshaping this Laker team.
On the court, Dwight Howard will the Lakers a force to be reckoned with. Teams will have to pick their poison when choosing how to deal with a Nash/ Howard pick and roll, the great Kobe Bryant, and the ever-skilled Pau Gasol. This roster may have some rough patches as the team and coaching staff work out the kinks, but I expect nothing short of a title for this Laker team.
As for the Lakers’ pantheon of greatness…the show goes on.
For a team building for the future, I feel that the Magic received some nice young pieces and a decent amount draft picks. What befuddles me about this deal, though, is that this doesn’t seem as the kind of compensation that a team should get for a HOF center who is still in his prime. I am interested as to why the Magic organization balked at the Nets offer for this proposed deal and sett off uncalled for drama culminating in a group of solid but unspectacular young players.
This has to be a win for the Philadelphia Sixers. Although they lose one of their most important player in Andre Iguodala, they regain the uber-talented Andrew Bynum, who should make the growth and development easier for Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner easier. Jason Richardson gives the Sixers a consistent outside threat which they lacked all of last year. Its intrigues me that Philly is running the risk of Andrew Bynum bolting to a more desired team this upcoming off-season. But as they always say, “scared money don’t make money.”
The Denver Nuggets are not short on jack-of-all-trades kind of players, and will have yet another as they acquire Andre Iguodala from the Sixers. Iguodala gives the Nuggets great athleticism, more versatility, and elite defense, thus offsetting the loss of Arron Afflalo. I’ll leave the cap space minutiae to the experts.
This is yet another example of a superstar manipulating his way out of town in a cunning but unprofessional manner. Many GM’s are somewhat confused about the way the Magic have handled the whole Dwight mess, but in the end they have to do their own respective jobs and try to build up their own teams. Despite that, the NBA is expected to cash in as a result of this trade, as ratings and interest will spike.
Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder
This finals rematch is the only thing in jeopardy here, in my opinion. Whether Lebron or Kevin Durant should be shaking in their shoes is more of a fan fare and anticipation than reality. I think both players will accept this as a challenge and use it to fuel their desire. As driven as I know Durant is, I think it’s time he takes some serious rest and relaxation after the Olympics instead of hitting the gym. If a Lakers-Heat finals matchup does occur, Lebron will still pose problems to the Lakers by forcing them to go small or endure mismatches.
“Going for his 6th ring like it was his first.”
Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol aren’t such a bad alternative to Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Gerald Wallace. Being a Laker and acting in the manner in which he did throughout this whole process will definitely breed great backlash for Dwight Howard, but winning does wonders. Howard will also be the next great center/ player to put on the purple and gold, bringing much pressure but also great reward.
The upcoming season has just become much more interesting, and the Lakers are now an even more must-watch team. Ticket prices, as high as they already are, will definitely soar as the Lakers try to pay the exorbitant contracts of their stars. Many questions to remain as to how the Lakers will jell, but we’ll worry later and rejoice now.
Get well soon, Dwight.