Dwight Howard traded to the Lakers

Published On August 10, 2012 | By Stephanie Silva

There is now speculation that the NBA final has already been determined for the 2012-2013 season (Lakers versus Heat) thanks to a four-team deal that spun madness into the NBA trading war. Orlando’s Dwight Howard was traded to the Lakers along with Chris Duhon and Earl Clark, Andre Iguodala was sent to the Nuggets, Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson are headed to the 76ers and the Magic will receive six players.

The Orlando Magic is clearly the loser in the most recent battle for Howard.  Although General Manager Rob Hennigan will likely be criticized, the Magic’s execs should take the blame, too.  Howard was never shy in his demands and it indirectly resulted in owner Alex Martins firing both former General Manager Otis Smith, and former head coach Stan Van Gundy.

Howard vocally teeter-tottered between being shipped out as soon as possible and staying in Orlando to try for a title. With this information, the Magic knew they had a situation on their hands.

One of the teams Howard expressed interest in was the Brooklyn Nets. A month ago, the Nets reportedly offered the Magic a deal that included Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and four first round draft picks.The problem is that they were stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they traded Howard mid-season, they weren’t very likely to get much money for him because he would only be utilized for a couple months. If they kept him on without the support of a title-winning team, he would become a free agent at the end of the season and leave the Magic with virtually no compensation at all if he left.

Ultimately, Orlando held out too long and ended up trading Howard to the quietly patient Los Angeles Lakers. Instead of obtaining the young powerhouse Lopez, impressive rookie Brooks and Humphries, who was one of only eight players in last year’s season to average a double-double in points and rebounds, the Magic had no choice but to settle for Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, and three protected first round draft picks.

Because the Magic pushed for more than the original Nets offer, Brooklyn was afraid they would lose Lopez and withdrew their offer for Howard. In the end, Orlando did the best they could under the circumstances since Howard would have been a free agent after next summer anyway. All the Lakers lost was one player, Bynum, to the Sixers, but that move might be the biggest sneak attack of them all.

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