Dwight Howard is now a Los Angeles Laker, according to ESPN. He will be sent there in a four-team trade involving the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets. Somewhere right now, Shaq is furious, as he knows the move from Orlando to L.A. will force the comparison between the two ‘Supermen’ to continue.
Here are the terms of the trade that will reshape the landscape of the NBA:
Lakers: Receive – C Dwight Howard, F Earl Clark, G Chris Duhon from Orlando
Nuggets: Receive – SG/SF Andre Iguodala from Philly
76ers: Receive – C Andrew Bynum from LA, SG/SF Jason Richardson from Orlando
Magic: Receive – SG Arron Affalo, PF/SF/C Al Harrington from Denver, C/PF Nikola Vucevic, SF Moe Harkless from Philly, Denver 1st-Rounder (2014), Philly 1st Rounder (2015), LA 1st-Rounder (2017)
As of now, it seems that Howard will finish the 2012-2013 season without extending his contract so that he can become a free-agent on July 1, 2013. That will give him time to decide whether or not he’s comfortable in L.A. If he decides to go elsewhere after this season, it will most likely be the Dallas Mavericks.
Dallas was part of Dwight’s three-team-list (Brooklyn, Dallas, Los Angeles) he was willing to go to last season, and they will have the necessary cap space to sign him.
This trade has made the Los Angeles Lakers the NBA’s super team of the West – David Stern couldn’t spite the Lakers two years in a row – like when he blocked the Chris Paul trade for it being irresponsible and ‘creating super teams in the NBA.’
Kobe Bryant was reportedly ecstatic that they were able to pull off the trade without giving up Pau Gasol. The Lakers now projected starting lineup is PG Steve Nash, SG Kobe Bryant, SF Metta World Peace, PF Pau Gasol, and C Dwight Howard. They’ll also have PF Antawn Jamison coming off the bench. That’s a lineup that can only maybe be competed with by Oklahoma City or the aging San Antonio.
The East of course will have the defending NBA Champs in the Miami Heat and Chicago, with a hopefully healthy Derrick Rose. Other than that, there’s a decent Indiana team and Philadelphia that now has Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. Although Philly has not yet spoken to Bynum or his representatives and he hasn’t said anything about them signing him long-term.
One source said:
“The Sixers are willing to take a shot (without Bynum’s commitment).”
The presence of Dwight moving to L.A. paves the way for a Kobe vs. LeBron Championship final – super team of the West vs. the East – the two greatest players in the game. No doubt everyone would be watching.
Hopefully this matchup happens this year. But if not, Dwight will have to resign with L.A. and get it done while Kobe is still Kobe. The man is a legend, but he’s 34-years-old and not getting any younger. It would be a real disappointment if this move were to happen without leading towards an NBA Championship matchup of the two most elite squads the league has to offer.
The trade has been completed and been approved by Commissioner David Stern and therefore has the potential to steer the direction of the entire league for several years to come. If not, at least us fans can breathe now that the Dwight Howard saga has finally come to an end. Congratulations on getting what you wanted, Dwight!
For the 2012-2013 season, here’s a list of a few important games as well as a link to their full season’s schedule from nba.com
December 2: vs. Orlando
January 17: vs. Miami
February 10: @ Miami
March 12: @ Orlando
Full Schedule Click Here.