Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski Tweeted yesterday that a four-way blockbuster trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers was imminent, and it appears that it’s done. According to Woj, as of this morning the deal is in place and just needs NBA approval, which the teams will most likely receive during a conference call this afternoon. As the smoke clears and the dust settles, this is how the trade plays out:
Lakers get: Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, and Chris Duhon
Philadelphia 76ers get: Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson
Denver Nuggets get: Andre Iguodala
Orlando Magic get: Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, 3 first round picks, and 1 second round pick.
(Some people with “sources” say that other players are involved, and it is actually 4 first rounders that suck and maybe 2 second rounders, but who knows yet? Who cares? Is anyone even paying attention? Hello, Mrs. Pommelhorse?)
MOST SHOCKING UPDATE EVER: The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the deal is not done and there may be complications. I do not believe this because the Sentinel is never right.
Of course that has led to a chorus of “How could Orlando do that?” and “Orlando got screwed” and “Orlando took the worst offer out there” and that was expected. Short of a LeBron James for Howard straight-up swap, there was no deal that Orlando would receive that wouldn’t be met with cries of outrage from both fans and the media. That’s just how the NBA works these days.
Personally, as a Magic fan, I don’t really care. With this deal, the Magic can buy out the rest of the bad contracts next season – Hedo Turkoglu, Quentin Richardson, and, well, All Harrington – on the cheap and have roughly $40 million to spend. The problem is that the big name free agents are three guys who didn’t have any interest in playing in Orlando.
Whatever. The point of this deal for Orlando was to dump the bad contracts of the Otis Smith era and gain draft picks. Done and done. The point of the Lakers making the deal was to make a huge run at a title this year and try to convince Howard to stay. The point of Howard pushing to be traded was so he could play anywhere he wanted this year and try his hand at free agency next year (which he could have just done now if he hadn’t been such a schmuck about it). The point for the 76ers and Nuggets was to simply add pieces that could help their young players thrive. Essentially it works out for every team involved.
But that’s not how the NBA works these days. There’s a reason only a handful of teams keep winning titles and the small market teams bear the brunt of criticism. It’s a game of short attention span and “NOW, NOW, NOW!” That’s why I think I like Shaq’s response to this deal the best. But please excuse me now, as I go back to ignoring this whole mess.
(Banner via @Jose3030)