Assessing the five key players' pros and cons in the D12 trade
EL SEGUNDO, CA – AUGUST 10: Dwight Howard greets fans after he was introduced as the newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers at the Toyota Sports Center on August 10, 2012 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers aquired Howard from Orlando Magic in a four-team trade. In addition Lakers wil receive Chris Duhon and Earl Clark from the Magic. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Pros: Howard won’t just pair up with the Black Mamba but he also gets a top 5 point guard in the form of two-time MVP Steve Nash. He now plays in the Hollywood city of Los Angeles in a mega-bonanza deal that sees him become a star over night. Also, the NBA title that has eluded him throughout his entire career at Orlando may now seem a realistic dream with a team that could easily be the best starting five in the NBA. There is also the easement of Pau Gasol and Antawn Jamison in the squad who offer depth that the Magic never had.
Cons: A huge heap of pressure is now piled on Howard’s shoulders. Not only did he dispose Andrew Bynum from his mantle at the Staples Center but he left Orlando with a load of fans despising his intentions to leave the city ASAP. There could be two outcomes – failed glory hunter or revelation in LA.
LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 19: Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot in front of Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 19 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Pros: AB plays for the franchise of Philadelphia that sees him become the new face of the organization. Since Iverson’s retirement, Philly hasn’t had another iconic star (not even Iguodala) in their basketball franchise. Bynum will be the go-to-man in the line-up with his career stats set to skyrocket, making him a sure shot at the All-Star game. Doug Collins’ new look roster could now clinch a higher seed in the playoffs with an established big man in the line-up.
Cons: Who is the next best player in the team after Bynum? Jrue Holiday? Jason Richardson? Nick Young? Compare these players to Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, and you’ll see why Bynum desperately wanted to stay in Tinsel Town. Who is the worst player in the Lakers’ starting 5 – Metta World Peace? Hell yeah, he seems to be a better outfit than anyone on this 76ers roster. Bynum wouldn’t be complaining about playing with ball hogs in the team but he definitely wouldn’t have the quality that could guarantee him championships.
Pros: Affalo, being a perennial hard worker, will slot in amicably in the Magic roster. He gets to command the ball a little bit more than he could at Denver with Nelson entering a periodic decline in his career. His game time at Denver was anything but assured so this could begin a new phase in the UCLA product’s vocation in the NBA.
Cons: Arron Affalo leaves a young and bustling team that George Karl put together. The Nuggets’ team was one of the most exciting to watch with the likes of Galinari, Lawson and McGhee. From a team in playoff contention to a one undergoing rebuilding, Affalo could see his chances to make the playoffs cut short. Another disadvantage for Affalo is the team around him isn’t stacked enough to develop his skills either, another fore go of leaving Denver.
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 10: Andre Iguodala #9 and Anthony Davis #14 of United States react after defeating Argentina.
Pros: One person to sure love this deal is Andre Iguodala. Not only is he set to play with a rejuvenated franchise in Denver, the load off his shoulders has reduced drastically as well. He’ll no longer be expected to carry an entire franchise likes his days at Philadelphia, nor will he be playing in an underachieving and low seeded playoff team. In two years, Nuggets could make the Western Conference their own with the Lakers, Spurs depleting in age and the Thunder set to lose their stars to a stringent salary cap system.
Cons: Iguodala might however become the biggest loser in this deal with the production column. From All-Star numbers of 16 PPG, 5.5 APG and 6 RPG, the Illinoisan could dip down to as low as 10-12 PPG, 3 APG and 5 RPG. Would he be ready to sacrifice his number for a shot at the NBA title? Only time will tell.
Pros: J-Rich is 30 years old, never won an NBA title and is past his prime. His stats last season were par average for a lottery pick that has lasted nearly a decade in the league. Richardson heads to Philadelphia with no expectations. He may possibly not shoot as much, not get game time at all and realistically, end his career there. But that’s the ideal situation any player in this trade will want to be – get paid well, enter the playoffs and retire soon – with no expectations whatsoever. J-Rich has not much to worry about.
Cons: Like Iguodala, Richardson might face a huge slump in the production column but that may not be that big of a deal for this NBA veteran.