Orlando Magic's center Dwight Howard (R) slams the ball over New York Knicks' center Tyson Chandler during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Orlando, Florida April 5, 2012. The Knicks beat the Magic 96 - 80.
(Photo : REUTERS/Kevin Kolczynski (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL))
Usain Bolt's performance at the Olympics was supposed to be the biggest news story in the sports world yesterday. But another man overshadowed him. That man is Dwight Howard or "Superman" if you will and he has been stealing the spotlight all year long for all the wrong reasons.
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For the last year he has been demanding a trade away from the Orlando Magic to a team with better chances to win a championship. During the wee hours of Thursday night, Howard got his wish in the news story that has taken over the sports world.
Dwight Howard was part of a monster four team trade that sent him to the Los Angeles Lakers to join the likes of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash. Other squads involved in the trade include the Philadelphia Sixers, Denver Nuggets, and the Orlando Magic.
The trades went down as such: The Lakers give up Andrew Bynum and get Howard.
The Denver Nuggets receive Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia. The give away Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington,
The Philadelphia 76ers get Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, while giving up Iguodola and a few spare assets.
The Magic get Afflalo, Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and numerous of protected first-round draft picks.
But who are the true winners and losers of the deal?
Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers get rid of Andrew Bynum, a player that was giving them a great deal of heartache due to his maturity issues. And they get one of the best if not the best center in the league. But more importantly, they do not give up Pau Gasol who is still one of the top power forwards in the league. Move over Miami, they have a top three but LA has Gasol, Bryant, Nash, and now Dwight Howard as their top four. The move propels them to be title contenders again. Grade: A+
Philadelphia 76ers: Andre Iguodala and the Sixers were not always on the best of terms. So they get rid of him and take back Jason Richardson. But they also land Andrew Bynum who becomes the best center in the Eastern Conference and provides the often overlooked Sixers with the star power they were lacking. The only downside is that Bynum is only locked for a year and may not be committed to resigning with the Sixers. However, the fact that Philadelphia is close to his hometown state of New Jersey may be enough incentive to get him to stick around. If he leave, the Sixers get some salary cap relief either way. Grade: A
Denver Nuggets: They get Iguodala who fits right into their playing style. He does not have to be the go-to offensive guy anymore as he was in Philly and can serve as an ideal complement to Danilo Gallinari on the wing. More importantly, as a strong defensive force, he fits into George Karl's defense first system. If Iguodala does not resign next season, Denver still wins as they get tons of salary cap space next off-season. Grade: A
Orlando Magic: Sure they get three protected picks, and some assets but they failed to land the second or third best players in the trade. And they did not push the Lakers into giving up Pau Gasol. They give up a superstar for a few complementary assets, but no rock on which to build their franchise. Al Harrington is an overpaid veteran who they are now stuck with. Arron Affalo is a strong defensive player but hardly the franchise cornerstone they lost in Howard. They had no choice but to do the deal, but one would surely expect a better return. Grade: C-