In a stunning move that pushes Kobe ‘Bean’ Bryant ever closer to his sixth championship, the Lakers are on the verge of acquirig Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic in a first ever, blockbuster 4-team trade in the NBA.
Yes, it’s showtime in LA again.
Mitch Kupchak, Lakers GM, showed again why the Lakers are a perennial contender.
Yes, we’re calling this the Dwight Howard trade. And yes, the Lakers certainly come out of this as winners.
But two other teams in this blockbuster four-team trade did well for themselves and here’s a breakdown of who got the steal here.
LAKERS : Okay that’s a no-brainer, everybody knows Dwight Howard is one heck of a player and will contribute a lot to the team, but the myth is that Howard is a defensive force. Bynum actually allowed fewer points per post-up play than Howard last season. Howard held opponents to a lower field-goal percentage and forced turnovers more often but the difference came on fouls. Howard sent opponents to the free-throw line more than twice as often on post-up plays.
But the Lakers have Steve Nash, who is one of the best pick-and-roll point guards in the NBA and last season, Howard ranked first in the NBA in points per play as the pick-and-roll roll man among the 75 players with at least 50 plays and that just makes D-12 an upgrade over Bynum.
So Lakers are definitely WINNERS.
NUGGETS : It’s a win for Iggy and Denver because he is a better fit with George Karl’s more open, up-tempo offense than he has been in Philly and will get the respect he never got in Philadelphia. Last season, Denver was quite good on offense and fast plays and we all know AI can finish at the rim, and Denver though was pretty bad at defense (ranked 20th in NBA) and Iguadola could fill the Nuggets’ big need as an elite perimeter defender.
Plus letting Al Harrington go with Arron Affalo also saved them huge cap space,which is the bigger reason they are the WINNERS in this trade, or it wouldn’t be pretty equal.
76ers : As it was for Philadelphia — Kwame Brown isn’t their starting center any more, and they got their true big man in the face of Bynum who is still young, and is destined for greatness. If in doubt, take a look at this stat :
The 76ers’ top three big men before the trade were Spencer Hawes, Kwame Brown and Lavoy Allen. Bynum totaled more points, rebounds and blocks last season than Hawes, Brown and Allen combined.
And the core of that team is all under 25 — they will grow over the next couple years, so they are definitively WINNERS.
And about Jason Richardson, nothing.
MAGIC : Final Nets offer Orlando rejected in July: Lopez, Humphries (1 year, $9.6M), Brooks, 4 unprotected No. 1 picks for Howard, JRich, Duhon, Clark.
And now they have Affalo, Moe Harkless, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and 3 1st round picks. Not understandable why they refused Brooklyn’s offer as they were getting 4 picks so they can rebuild. Humpries has a similar contact to Harrington and is a far better option. No one knows what’s going on Hennigan’s (Orlando GM) mind but whatever it is, it should be damn good, because right now all of this is just a big LOSS.
Andrew Bynum : Definitely a win, he could step out and be a franchise player and would get the ball on the inside way more often than Kobe gave him.
Dwight Howard : Would definitely be happy to end the long trade saga. Whether Kobe would pass or not is still a mystery, but Howard will not have to worry as he’s got Steve Nash for a few years to run the pick and roll.
Andre Iguodala : Would be very pleased to play under George Karl’s offense and he probably was fed up playing for Philly, so a change of scenery might help get more out of him.
Arron Affalo : He’s a hard-worker. He might not be happy leaving a contending team for a re-building one but he could be a center-piece for Orlando’s future.
Al Harrington : He loved Denver and you could see it in the way he played there, but still he’s a free agent next year so he could return.
Jason Richardson : Would be happy in Philly as the team is relatively young and his veteran leadership would really help the whole team.
Moe Harkless : This mean more time for the rookie, and what else can he want ?
Nikola Vucevic : He’s pretty decent so this could be chance for a breakout season.
So all players are pretty much in win-win situations, except for Big Al, but who is experienced enough to get over it, as it’s all business in the end.
Note : The teams have agreed to the deal, but the league isn’t and by league, I mean David Stern, who could still veto it, and be the perfect villain to the Lakers.