How the Dwight Howard trade affects the league
MANILA, Philippines - A thunderous 4 team deal shocks the NBA landscape.
Let's recap what just happened.
The Los Angeles Lakers receive Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark.
The Denver Nuggets receive Andre Iguodala.
The Philadelphia 76ers receive Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson.
The Orlando Magic receive Aaron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, the Nuggets 2014 first round pick, the 76ers 2015 first round pick and the Lakers 2017 first round pick.
What does this all mean?
This is a huge letdown for the Magic because while they had the best player to give up they were not able to get back a single all star.
Howard’s constant trade demands were annoying and it was better that he left, but his departure should have netted the Magic with better assets and expiring contracts to help the team rebuild in his absence.
The draft picks are not expected to be too high because all of the teams are playoff contenders -- better teams don't get one of the first picks.
While their goal was to relieve themselves of salary, both Afflalo and Harrington have contracts that pay them up to 2015. Harrington is also coming off knee surgery and will be 35 years old by the time his contract expires.
Afflalo immediately becomes the starting shooting guard and is the most exciting prospect the Magic have.
Vucevic is a young, mobile center who will pair up with either Harrington or Glen Davis in the front court. The Magic roster was built with Howard in mind, full of shooters to provide him space but now without him they will struggle to find open shots.
The Magic were reportedly receiving better offers from the New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets before ultimately deciding on sending Howard to the Lakers.
The Orlando Magic have pretty much given up on this season, as they look to give lots of minutes to their young players in the hope of attaining a high draft pick in 2013.
The team recently hired a new coach in Jacque Vaughn and a new general manager in Chris Hennigan and while it may be too early to tell, they look like the big losers in this deal.
Lakers on top
Let’s take a look at how each team did in this trade.
The Lakers couldn’t be happier right now.
In this past off season they have added a 2 time MVP in point guard Steve Nash, a former 6th man of the year winner in Antawn Jamison and still kept their two best players, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
They have signaled their intent to be contenders for the rest of Bryant’s playing career with this move. Howard’s most important impact will come on the defensive end; Howard is a 3 time defensive player of the year who will be able to protect the rim.
Nash is 38 years old and Bryant is 33. They will have issues with younger guards but with Howard to protect them from behind, the Laker defense should be in good hands.
Howard’s strengths are his rebounding and shot blocking but the Lakers were no slouches in either category in 2012. Los Angeles ranked number 1 in defensive rebounds this year and 11th in total blocks.
Chris Duhon will battle with Steve Blake for the backup point guard minutes.
The Denver Nuggets receive an intriguing piece in Andre Iguodala, the swingman is in his 9th year in the league but still only 28 years old.
He adds athleticism and playmaking -- last year he led the 76ers in assists -- to the fastest team in the league. The Nuggets led the league last year in points per game and Iguodala will thrive in an open court team like this.
Andrew Bynum immediately becomes the starting center in Philadelphia and his ability to get to the free throw line will help the team who finished dead last in free throws attempted this past season.
Bynum last year got to the foul line 5.6 times a game while only one 76er finished with more than 2 per game. Jason Richardson will add some invaluable outside shooting to a team that sorely lacked it.
Last year, the 76ers were 24th in the league in 3 pointers made. Richardson hit 102 three pointers in 2012 while the highest number made was 65 from Jrue Holiday. - Rappler.com
Daniel Romero-Salas is a lifelong basketball fan with an inclination to statistical analysis of the game. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, and strives to bring a refreshing take on one of the most popular leagues in the world. Follow him on Twitter: @danromerosalas