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Dwight Howard trade analysis

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Dwight Howard is set to join the Lakers after eight seasons in Orlando. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

It’s usually hyperbole to suggest that a single transaction has a ripple effect throughout the league, but Friday’s four-team, 12-player deal sending Dwight Howard to the Lakers touches just about every franchise in some way. Just a few examples from outside the four directly involved here:

• The Nets, Mavericks, Rockets, Hawks and any other team gearing up to either deal for Howard after Jan. 15 (Brooklyn), trade for him now (Houston) or chase him in free agency next summer (Houston, Dallas, Atlanta) has suffered a major loss. Houston and Dallas are both free to pursue Howard in any way they’d like, but the Lakers aren’t dealing him ahead of free agency, and Los Angeles will have the same home-court advantage in free agency — the ability to offer the 26-year-old center an extra year and larger raises on his contract — that helped the Nets lock up Deron Williams.

• Chris Paul, a free agent in 2013, now has to think really hard about whether the Clippers have the goods as a franchise to justify his continuing presence after next season — even if the Lakers might have this insane four-man core of Howard, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash only through 2013-14. (Deals for the soon-to-be 34-year-old Bryant and 32-year-old Gasol expire after that season.)

• The Thunder have a new roadblock in their quest to become mainstays in the NBA Finals, and they have to prepare themselves to both match the Lakers’ size and embrace the kind of small-ball game — with Kevin Durant at power forward — that might be able to out-quick this L.A. team. They couldn’t play that style much in their second-round series against the Lakers, mostly because they had no wing other than Durant who could defend Metta World Peace down low.

[Photo Gallery: Rare pictures of Dwight Howard]

• A team like Boston has to wonder now if it committed too much money to an aging team that just saw its title odds downgraded from “puncher’s chance” to “uh, oh, multiple players have to get hurt for us to win.” The Spurs, much closer to a title than Boston last season, have a smaller version of the same anxiety.

And on it goes. As for the four teams involved in the trade, here’s a look at the significance:

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Coming: Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, Earl Clark (from Magic)
Going: Andrew Bynum (to 76ers); Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga, conditional first-round pick in 2017, conditional second-round pick in 2015 (to Magic)

The Lakers’ other splashy move this summer, the sign-and-trade for Nash, focused on upgrading an offense that proved inconsistent and played 3-on-5 at times because of a lack of outside shooting and off-the-dribble creativity. The Nash trade was a clear win, but raised two concerns:

1. How did L.A. plan to address its defense, which fell apart over the last 20 games of the regular season and in the playoffs?

2. How would all these pieces fit on offense? This question touched on everyone, but Bynum’s preference for a back-it-down, ball-stopping low-post game seemed an awkward fit with a point guard accustomed to speedy big men with pick-and-roll chops.

The Lakers have answered both of these questions, to some degree, with a single trade, provided Howard recovers well from back surgery. It’s a deal that gives them someone who was the league’s second-best overall player and my choice for MVP in 2010-11, when Howard – a mobile big man capable of disrupting a team’s offense from the three-point line to the rim — cemented his place as one of the greatest defensive players in league history.

The price in dollars will be enormous, one that mocks the collective bargaining agreement and the league’s bogus claim that it could engineer competitive balance on a grand scale. The Lakers’ payroll will push or exceed $100 million in each of the next two seasons (assuming a max extension for Howard), putting them nearly $30 million over the luxury-tax line that has terrified the big-market Bulls. When the harsher tax penalties kick in next season, the Lakers could be paying a tax bill of something like $50 million — on top of their payroll.

The books clear up in 2014-15, when only Nash and Howard would be under contract — assuming, again, that L.A. can re-sign Howard. That will allow the Lakers to duck the extra-harsh repeater penalties for teams that pay the tax four times in five years. So there’s that.

[Lee Jenkins: Lakers pounce again for another star]

By dealing Bynum for Howard, the Lakers still have a giant front line at a time when the other two title favorites — Miami and Oklahoma City — thrive with smaller, quicker lineups. Defending those lineups will be an issue, but there comes a point where you have so much talent to throw at a problem that it ceases to be a problem. The Lakers are near that point, though they could use another wing player; Grant Hill, who signed with the Clippers, would have been perfect here. Other teams have to match up with them, too, and if things get really dicey, they can simply sit Gasol and survive with a Nash/Howard/Bryant trio.

I’m not sure the Lakers enter next season as the championship favorites, but they are close.

In Andrew Bynum, the Sixers now have a franchise center who commands double teams in the post. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

Coming: Andrew Bynum (from Lakers); Jason Richardson (from Magic)
Going: Andre Iguodala (to Nuggets); Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, conditional first-round pick (to Magic)

The Sixers’ earlier moves don’t really make all that much sense in light of this big move. No team needs all four of Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen, Kwame Brown and Bynum. Elton Brand, recently amnestied, would have been better next to Bynum than any incumbent Philadelphia frontcourt player, save for perhaps Thaddeus Young.

But if you make the big move, it almost doesn’t matter. Bynum, 24, is a budding franchise centerpiece, the kind of player the Sixers were extremely unlikely to get via any other means. The 76ers relied on a top-three defense last season, a unit that will suffer with this trade. Iguodala might be the best perimeter defender in the league, and Bynum, despite his ability to protect the rim, has occasional effort issues in transition and (like most big men) struggles to guard in space above the foul line.

A great defense only gets you so far if you can’t score, though. Credit the Sixers for realizing that last year’s near trip to the Eastern Conference finals was an injury-aided fluke for a team that couldn’t score. Philadelphia now gets to build around a nucleus of Bynum, Young and guards Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, and all the slashing Sixers stand to benefit from the double teams Bynum will draw in the post. The Sixers still need outside shooting in the long term (i.e., after the Nick Young and Dorell Wright contracts expire in 10 months) beyond the declining Richardson, especially if Turner can’t develop a reliable three-point shot, and there is some danger here that they are counting on players who might be slightly overrated as two-way forces. Holiday’s potential has divided the front office, and Bynum, for all of his post-up genius, needs to develop as a passer and defender to justify the max contract that Philadelphia would like to pay him.

Those concerns are real, but in jettisoning Iguodala, a future first-round pick (likely a low one) and their last two first-round picks (Harkless and Vucevic), it’s not as if the Sixers have broken up a juggernaut. And if Turner’s development goes sour, they could actually have a useful chunk of cap space in the summer of 2014. Regardless, the 76ers just dealt for the second-best center in the league, and they have plenty of good defenders left to keep the defense from slipping too much without Iguodala. A club that looked to be the most likely candidate among last season’s eight playoff teams in the East to fall into the lottery now appears like a safe postseason bet — a blow to Milwaukee, Toronto and anyone else pushing for the No. 8 seed (more ripple effects).

Andre Iguodala (left) gives the Nuggets a premier wing defender. (Nelson Chenault/US Presswire)

DENVER NUGGETS

Coming: Andre Iguodala (from Sixers)
Going: Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, first-round pick in 2014, second-round pick in 2013 (to Magic)

Less than a month ago, I wrote that Denver was positioned to butt its way into any major trade, but I didn’t expect this. I suspect that finances were neck-and-neck with on-court potential in driving Denver to facilitate the creation of a temporary All-Star team in its own conference. Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri has told me that management wants to cap payroll about where it is now — $62 million, way below the tax — and with point guard Ty Lawson due a big extension, cutting the long-term money committed to Afflalo and Harrington ensures that Denver will have financial flexibility after Iguodala’s deal expires in 2014. Afflalo is owed nearly $8 million per season through 2015-16, and though he’s a nice player (and a Point Forward favorite), the Nuggets are right to believe that they can replace 90 percent of his production at cost.

Iguodala will prop up a defense that ranked 19th in points allowed per possession, well below the level at which you can take a team seriously as a real contender. The Nuggets will probably switch too much on defense as long as point guard Andre Miller is playing and George Karl is coaching, but if you’re going to do that, you might as well have an elite defender and a lot of similarly sized players. Denver now has both. Iguodala forms a small-forward army with Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, meaning he’ll likely have to defend shooting guards on most nights. He can handle that just fine. Gallinari and Chandler will both step into Harrington’s role as small-ball power forwards, and the presence of Kenneth Faried gives Denver an effective true power forward to play in traditional lineups.

The center rotation is still a huge question mark. But JaVale McGee should keep improving under one of the league’s best player development staffs, and Timofey Mozgov has looked good in the Olympics for Russia.

Bottom line: The Nuggets aren’t a title contender, but they know that, and they made themselves both better and financially leaner in this deal. They could push the slow-footed Lakers in the playoffs again, and they know this L.A. team might expire after only two seasons, at which point Denver could be one step behind Oklahoma City in the Western Conference.

Arron Afflalo (left) averaged 15.2 points last season for Denver. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

ORLANDO MAGIC

Coming: Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, first-round pick in 2014, second-round pick in 2013 (from Nuggets); Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, conditional first-round pick (from 76ers); Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga, conditional first-round pick in 2017, conditional second-round pick in 2015 (from Lakers)
Going: Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, Earl Clark (to Lakers); Jason Richardson (to 76ers)

In a Howard trade, Houston could have offered several young players on rookie contracts and draft picks (including a near-certain lottery pick from the Raptors) while absorbing Richardson’s deal and likely Duhon’s or Quentin Richardson’s. That is a better return than what Orlando got here, which leads me to believe that something about the Rockets’ offer has been overstated — the availability of that precise package; Orlando’s patience in waiting for Houston’s recently signed picks to become trade-eligible (about a month away); Orlando’s affection for Houston’s first- and second-year players; or Houston’s willingness to gamble on Howard without assurances that he would stay beyond next season. I’m confident that the Rockets’ willingness was real, and that they were open to taking on at least the Richardson/Duhon deals, so I’m not sure why the Magic accepted this trade over Houston’s package.

I’m also not sure why the Magic didn’t just pursue a straight Howard/Bynum trade more seriously, since the Lakers effectively made that exact deal on their end. Yes, Bynum’s long-term commitment is nearly as tenuous as Howard’s, and this four-team monstrosity allowed the Magic to rope in extra draft picks that the Lakers couldn’t offer after dealing two first-rounders to Phoenix for Nash. But the picks that Orlando received are all going to be sub-lottery, and even the highest picks in that range (say, No. 15 or 16) have an expected return roughly equivalent to Terry Mills or Kelvin Cato, according to the best long-term draft value studies in the public domain.

Acquiring Bynum, however, would have made the 2012-13 Magic good enough to fall into the low end of the lottery or even push for the No. 8 playoff seed, making it difficult for Orlando to bottom out and pursue the “Thunder model.” The Magic are going to be bad now, guaranteeing them at least one monster lottery pick and probably two.

Good luck with that Thunder model, by the way. It involves winning the lottery or finishing second in a year with a franchise centerpiece, getting lucky enough to have that player fall to you and somehow still being bad enough over the next two seasons to snag two more top-four picks in the draft. That is nearly unprecedented. Toss in the selection of a borderline future All-Star at No. 24 (Serge Ibaka), and, bam, you’ve got the Thunder model! As easy as cooking a nice pasta dinner.

You know who’s a young All-Star right now? Twenty-four-year-old Andrew Bynum! And if he walks after next season, the Magic would just bottom out a year later and have actual cap space to use along with their own high pick.

Afflalo and Harrington make about $15 million combined over the next three seasons, though Harrington’s deal is only half guaranteed in the last two of those seasons. Still, they make enough that the Magic will have little meaningful cap room next summer unless they buy out Harrington and forward Hedo Turkoglu for only the nonguaranteed portions of their contracts. Center Brook Lopez is set to earn only about $4 million more per season than the Afflalo/Harrington combination in 2013-14 and 2014-15, making it fair to wonder why the Magic passed on Brooklyn’s offer of Lopez and a pile of similarly crummy first-round picks.

Perhaps the Magic thought that Lopez, like Bynum, would make them too good for the top of the draft over the next couple of seasons. I’m unconvinced, given Lopez’ track record as a poor defender and rebounder on terrible teams.

The Magic also save enough in 2012-13 salary in this trade to take them from a tad over the tax to comfortably under it. Finding that much savings would have been difficult in a deal that included the acquisition of both Lopez and Kris Humphries, so that’s a small victory.

Again, we don’t know how concrete any of these offers were, and there have been rumblings around the league that Orlando’s non-basketball people — i.e., CEO Alex Martins — have taken control of the Howard talks away from new general manager Rob Hennigan (and Otis Smith before him). But this deal stinks for the Magic. It’s great for the Lakers, though. Some things never change.

  • Published On 12:01pm, Aug 10, 2012
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    Jason3 6 pts

    Am I the only one who seriously thinks the Lakers are pulling some illegal backdoor deals to get these guys?  There's absolutely no explanation whatsoever why the Magic would deal Howard for a worse deal than that of others on the table.  If they were simply appeasing Howard's wishes, then why didn't they deal him to his 1st choice of the Nets?  If they wanted a good deal before the season started, why not deal him to Houston?  I would not be at all surprised if it came about that Alex Martins was getting some kind of payoff from the Laker organization to make this trade happen.  Of course, non of that will probably be discovered until the Lakers win a few more championships they don't deserve.  Note* Between Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, the Lakers gave up one player of quality.  Something sniffs to high heaven of shady business.

    Sam4 5 pts

     Jason3 In the Pau Gasol deal, then gave up Marc Gasol, their second round draft pick, who has turned out the be an all-star.  To get Nash, they used the trade-exception they got by trading Lamar Odom, who was coming off the 6th-man of the year award to Dallas.  So it was Lamar Odom, Marc Gasol, and Andrew Bynum for Nash, Pau, and DH.  Still great for the Lakers, but it was not simply one player of quality. 

    ChrisBoshie 5 pts

    I just shake my head at all you Laker haters, and the Heat haters, and the whoever forms an OBVIOUS powerful team and you hit the forums trying to explain why it won't work and why they "suck" and bla bla. They almost always go on to win a championship eventually (see Miami Heat this year) and you end up looking very, very, stupid. Every time. It's like just grow up. It happened. Deal with it.

    soglesby64 5 pts

    Except for the KNICKS, I really don't CARE anymore what the League does! 

     

    It is obvious that the Lakers always seem to land the BEST players for NOTHING!

    Bob4 7 pts

    Wow, it's all over. The Lakers have won the title! No need for season or even playoffs. When's the parade?

    Neale Newton 5 pts

    Andrew Bynum isn't exactly chopped liver.  The Man can play, and shoot foul shots, something that Dwight can't do. How exactly does this deal elevate the Lakers to the top?  And by the way, BACK issues ruin careers, just ask Larry Bird.

    P0is0nedKoolA1 10 pts

    When will we focus on the more important factors like team chemistry, coaching & the different personalities on a team which have more impact than the finance numbers. The Lakers are going to struggle for many reasons, but I'll state the one that will pop up that no one seems to write/talk about, too many chiefs & not enough Indians. Nash/Kobe/Dwight have always been the face of their respective teams. Kobe was crying for the Lakers to trade Bynum for Kidd a few years back (can you imagine!? ugh!), Dwight crossed his arms and held his breath till he was traded to the team and Nash has played in a system where he always has the ball in his hand till he sees fit to pass or shoot. What makes anyone think these three are going to click so well? This isn't a video game! These are real people & they have egos. Did we all forget Dwight's rants about not getting the ball in the post enough!? & that was with Ryan Anderson as his other post option. Now he has Pau Gasol standing there, a proven post up scorer, waiting for the ball as well. Let's not forget that Pau hasn't exactly been happy with all the trade talk his name was involved with. He's sensitive as is & Dwight getting all the touches just MAY be a problem with him. Throw in a coach, Brown, who's only good at writing defensive schemes and never got the respect of the Laker players (particularly Bynum. oh oh) and I see a disaster in the making. 

    Alvan Morgan 5 pts

     P0is0nedKoolA1

    "When will we focus on the more important factors like team chemistry, coaching & the different personalities on a team which have more impact than the finance numbers"

    ....Bro....its been a DAY since he arrived, Why would everyone worry about all the possible negatives like u just mentioned unless they are haters?..oh wait u are a hater. Ur spew I just read was pointing out every possible wrong scenario, I mean can u find anything else that can go wrong?...Some things may go right for the lakers to you know?..lol . The Lakers are use to winning and Kobe and the rest of the guys will accept him and work towards the same goal. Stop trying so hard to hate and accept they might have something great forming,

    P0is0nedKoolA1 10 pts

     Alvan Morgan Hater? How so? "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it" is an old saying that covers the same thing I'm writing. I guess if I had written that I would have received your approval which after all is what every commentator is striving for. Speak to me in April when the soap opera is over. 

    ChrisBoshie 5 pts

     P0is0nedKoolA1 Doomed to repeat what? A championship? I believe that's kind of the point. Nice quote by the way, except I'm not entirely sure how it's suppose to apply to this situation? Nice attempt to seem intellectual in your hating rather than just slinging insults. And NOT that you didn't make some solid points, it's just that they said the exact same thing about the Miami Heat when they formed their super team. Look what happened. The Lakers have been doing this for a LONG, LONG, time, and yes, sorry but more often than not it does result in a championship as HISTORY shows. Which I guess is what we're "doomed"  to repeat. lol

    ChrisBoshie 5 pts

     P0is0nedKoolA1 I will say it may not be until next year until the team gels, especially with Dwight getting a late start with his back injury and them installing a new offense, but trying to imply there's potential that this won't work simply because mega superstars with egos came together is absolutely absurd. when we've seen it happen over and over again now with great success. Kind of what the whole CBA was about last year, preventing this from happening and keeping competitive balance,The actual reality is, this team could compete with the CURRENT team U.S.A.  and at least hold their own because they're a LOT bigger in the post with Dwight (who's already suppose to be on team U.S.A. but is injured) and Gasol (who's leading all scorers in the Olympics)  Team U.S.A. is actually a  very small team that relies more on athleticism.  HISTORY shows us small athletic teams like the Mavs during Dirk/Nash years and Nash's Suns etc , don't beat bigger teams with a size advantage in the post. Tho, it'd obviously be hard to bet AGAINST a team that can bring all NBA allstars off their bench. But I would bet the Lakers would win a game or two against them in a 7 game series. Heck the NBA select team beat them once this year in a simulation game.But anyway, yes, baring injuries I'd bet you any money that the Lakers will be in the finals this year.  All but 2 games against the Thunder came down to the wire with LAST years squad. I mean, come on man! Look at what you're saying.

    WolfmansNephew 5 pts

     Alvan MorganRule # 108 of life never trust someone who starts a sentance with the word Bro...

    KleoKnights 7 pts

    Dwight Howard is finally out of Orlando’s hair. Thank God, all of the “I love me” players are in the “I love me city” of LA… There is a God…

    JoshuaGreenfarb 8 pts

    All this means is that (assuming no injuries to key players) the Lakers will probably make the playoffs, barely.  They'll be EXTREMELY lucky just to make it past the first round.  Remember the Lakers BARELY squeaked by Denver in a 7-game first round last season.  NBA basketball (unlike most other sports) has a tendency to be predictable.  I could be wrong, but I guarantee the Lakers are nowhere close to being a Championship-caliber team.  Bryant is known for fixing referees but that does not work anymore.  You WILL get in trouble, if Kobe tries that again.  I like this 4-team deal a lot!!  Much better than the initial report/deal.  All the Lakers have done is guarantee they will not be in the next draft lottery; all the Lakers have done is jeopardize their future; all the Lakers have done now is ruin any hopes of rebuilding with youth for the entire next decade; all the Lakers have done now is waste more money by bringing in Howard which may make it even tougher to finance a rebuilding effort for the entire next decade!!  Bryant will go down in history as the player that ruined the once-great Laker franchise!!!  Am I glad this 4-team deal is official???  YES!!!  YES!!!  YES!!!  Is Dwight Howard going to be like SHAQ???  NO!!!  NO!!!  NO!!!  Will Howard and Bryant have team chemistry issues???  YES!!!  YES!!!  YES!!!  Will the Lakers get to the 2013 NBA Finals???  NO!!!  NO!!!  NO!!!  NOOOOOOOO!!!  Do the Lakers still suck???  YES!!  YES!!!  YES!!!  Is Bryant still a "minus" player???  YES!!!  YES!!!  YES!!!  YES!!!  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  DAMN, I'M FUNNY!!!       

    Krejaton1 10 pts

     JoshuaGreenfarb It must hurt to be as stupid as you.  Get out of the heat, son, it is frying your few remaining brain cells.

    Jim Bobby 6 pts

     JoshuaGreenfarb BARELY?!   I'm not a Lakers fan either, but you got to give credit where credit is due.  The lakers have a hall of fame point guard, a hall of fame sg, Metta who is beat defensively, Pau gasol, and the best Center in the NBA.

     

    They just made themselves championship contenders.  I can't believe you just said they'll barely make the playoffs.  Wow.

    PhiAsco 5 pts

     JoshuaGreenfarb That has got to be one of the dumbest things I've ever read

    Alvan Morgan 5 pts

     JoshuaGreenfarb  not to mention u just made up sh.it about bryant is known for fixing refs?... you have to be a little kid just making up things so u can feel better,...sad your parents never thought you that you should not make up things people will think you're a fraud.

    topsolehtx 5 pts

    Is  JoshuaGreenfarb an idiot???   YES!!!   YES!!!   YES!!! 

    Markus Kytomaa 5 pts

    "The Spurs, much closer to a title than Boston last season"

     

    ...what

    JonathanD 5 pts

     Markus Kytomaa Spurs were the best team in the regular season, dominated the first 10 games of the playoffs, were up 2 games to none against OKC, and then would have been the favorites against Miami and BIG favorites against Boston.  The lost 4 playoff games while arguably playing better teams.Celtics were very mediocre in the regular season, barely got past the Sixers, had a close series against the Heat only because Chris Bosh got injured (and still lost), and would have been heavy underdogs to either OKC or the Spurs.  They lost 9 playoff games even though the teams they played weren't as good.So yeah, I'd say that the Spurs were much closer to a title than Boston.

    rodelyle2 6 pts

    Now all the Lakers have to do is figure out a way to get Kevin Love in trade and they will set several championships. Dwight Howard gives them the inside defense and scoring they need. Kobe is Kobe he always good for 30 points per game. Kevin Love would give them a power forward who can shoot the long ball better than most shooting guards. He won the three point shooting over Kevin Durant. He is one of, if not the best offensive rebounder in the NBA. I don't know how they would pull off this trade but if they could do this it would put them in pursuit of a NBA Championship for the next 10 years because the transition power span their age ranges. Kobe is 33, Dwight is 27, and Kevin 23 as the end of Kobe's career nears Dwight is set to take over and as Dwight's career nears its end Kevin is set to take over. Given Kobe's commitment to off season conditioning he is good for another 3 to 4 years playing in the NBA at a high level. Dwight Howard is just being to scratch the surface of being a good offensive player. He has been the best center in pro basketball based on sheer athleticism and defense. Once his full offense development is complete he will be unstoppable. Kevin Love is only 23 and is easily one of the top 3 big men in pro basketball. The ceiling for his growth seems limitless. He can shoot can shoot the three ball, has a great inside game, and as I stated one of the best offensive rebounders in the game. 

    dbz7008 5 pts

     rodelyle2 yessur i like ur thinking

    Daniel6 5 pts

     rodelyle2 I love the Lakers and would love to return Kevin Love to the city where he played his college ball (at UCLA). But how exactly do you propose we get Kevin Love to LA?  Love is locked up in a contract with the Wolves until at least 2015 (opt out clause). Even if he's available as free agent, we won't have cap space unless Love, who will be entering his prime years by then, is willing to entertain the mini mid level exception at $3M per. As for trade chips, I think we spent them all.  Of course, unless Minnesota GM gets a brain freeze and dumps Love for Gasol's expiring contract or something. This has happened before (McHale giving away KG to Celtics) but I just don't see this happening.

    David S 7 pts

    The Laker's will definitely be interesting next season. The team features a nut case in World Peace, a locker room cancer in Dwight Howard, an old man in Steve Nash, a rapist, and a Spaniard.  Wonder how that will meld together.

    IngridWarouw 5 pts

    Hahaha you are jealous with the Lakers aren't you?

    David S 7 pts

    We don't really know what the Rockets actually offered. I suspect it wasn't as rich an offer as the news media has speculated. Daryl Morey is no fool, and Dwight Howard is definitely damaged goods (cancer in the locker room, antagonistic toward management, a 'me first' attitude, and said he wouldn't sign an extension with the Rockets).

     

    I doubt that the Rockets would have given up their highest potential rookies including Motiejunas, Jeremy Lamb, and Royce White. They might have offered a package of Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris, and a couple draft choices. However, I doubt we'll ever really know the actual offer details.

    drgreenthumbs113 6 pts

    wow the magic just got fleeced. they traded the best big man in the league for a bunch of bums and crappy draft picks

    rweiner1 7 pts

    One more reason in an endless string of reasons to not watch the NBA.

    bluelinegraphicdesign 5 pts

    lets see if he gels with Kobe or if the two divas clash. Kobe was done with the first Diva when Shaq left. Now he's got a whiner, not winner, in Howard

     

     

    Captain_Ownage 18 pts

     bluelinegraphicdesign i am not a lakers fan just to get that out of the way.

    But I think the Lakers will have enough veteran all-star caliber leadership in the locker room (kobe, nash, artest, gasol) and a goal to rally around (Beat the HEAT!) to keep Howard and everyone else focused on basketball.

    0xfece5 8 pts

     Captain_Ownage You just used Ron Artest as an example of a stabilizing presence in the locker room to support your argument.

     

    All I can say is....HAHHAHAHAAAAAAA

    Captain_Ownage 18 pts

    Lakers stay healthy = 65 win minimum.

    AA 7 pts

     Captain_Ownage Agree, if they play the Bobcats, Hornets, Kings and Raptors 10x each

    beasthitman2012 7 pts

     Captain_Ownage regular season wins dont mean anything

    sinverguenzaperez 8 pts

    The National Basketball Association is first and foremost a business.....a BIG business. David Stern is the Chief Executive Officer of that business. He along with all of the other executive owners/overseers are in the business of making money.....BIG money. Do you peons really believe that the league never influences/directs what goes on behind the scenes? Do you peons really believe that the league owners/overseers would pass up the opportunity for this trade to happen? Do you peons really believe that Stern and the rest of those who stand to profit would have preferred a Howard trade to Houston or Cleveland? Money will be made by the league and it's owners/overseers because of this trade. BIG money. Imagine the profits to be made from an L.A. Lakers vs. Miami Heat Finals. Do you peons really believe that Stern and the other owners/overseers of the NBA would leave that much potential profit up to chance? Like always, if you choose to really look past the surface you can find the truth of things. Don't believe it? Sound crazy? Past occurrences of obvious corruption in the NBA not enough proof for you? Watch the 2013 NBA Playoff games that the L.A. Lakers and Miami Heat are involved in. If the Lakers are having a tough time with a team such as OKC or the Clippers, and things aren't going according to the NBA's preferred script, pay close, unbiased, objective attention to the officiating, and then make your own judgements. If the Heat are having a tough time with a team such as Indiana or the Celtics, and things aren't going according to the NBA's preferred script, then pay close, unbiased, objective attention to the officiating, and then make your own judgements. Make no mistake, the L.A. Lakers and the Miami Heat are destined for a collision course in the NBA Finals.....Not because of superior talent, or coaching, or desire, but because any other option will not be allowed by the NBA powers that be. There's just too much potential profit to be made off of the Laker/Heat dynamic. And if you peons still don't believe something so corrupt, flawed, and unjust could be happening right in front of your very eyes, then just keep right on drinking up your flouride-infused public water supplies.....long live Ewing & Oakley!!!   

    Jim5 5 pts

     sinverguenzaperez the deal worked bc only a team that knew dwight would resign with them would give up enough.  He wouldn't resign with Houston or Cleveland.  He likely will with LA.  You are not very bright.

    sinverguenzaperez 8 pts

     Jim5 Thank you for your assessment of my mental capacity Jim. The fact of the matter is, the Lakers did not have to give up as much to obtain the services of the league's #1 center. (Just like when they acquired Wilt; Kareem; Gasol). Both the Nets and Rockets offers included more than what the Magic accepted in this deal, and that was with no guarantee of Howard committing to resign with either the Nets/Rockets after the season. What is it about my post that would lead you to question my "brightness?' Are you operating under the assumption that the NBA is NOT a business? That the NBA is NOT interested in garnering max profits in their business endeavours? Please, "enlighten" me.

    IsmarSarajlic 7 pts

     sinverguenzaperez they did not have to give up much because those players wanted to play in la more then they wanted to play in other citys. what does that have to do with NBA. those are privately owned clubs you shining example of mental capacity. 

    beasthitman2012 7 pts

     sinverguenzaperez Dwight said he would only play on the Nets

    IsmarSarajlic 7 pts

     sinverguenzaperez your mother is a peon, sir. now, your comment is awful, really. remember the chris paul veto ? how in the hell stern is favouring lakers if he actually baned the great deal for them becuase nba owned the hornets. he could not do such thing now, and this deal was made between privately owned clubs, not some illuminati string pullers. get of your high horse you idiot. why we didnt saw lakers - heat last year ? or year before. they had a tough time with mavericks and okc as i recall.  

    sinverguenzaperez 8 pts

     IsmarSarajlic Ok Ismar, where should we begin?......off the top of my head, I believe there are 3 players in the NBA with a "trade veto" clause in their contract, (Kobe, Nowitzki, & Duncan)......meaning, if they are put up for a potential trade, they have the power to cancel that trade if they do not want to be traded to the proposed team. If a player does not have a "trade veto" clause in his contract, then the "privately owned club" could potentially trade that player to whichever team they @#*%ing wanted to, if the deal was in the best interest of the team. Still with me Ismar? Good.....I would think, as the G.M. of the Orlando Magic, Rob Hennigan would try and gather the most possible resources in a trade for the league's most dominant center. There were offers made to the Magic from various teams......if the reports were correct, then some of those offers were definitely more beneficial for the Magic now and for the future. If so, then why would this "privately owned club" choose not to accept those offers, yet accept this offer?......Next Ismar, why didn't the Lakers face the Heat last year, or the year before? Because ultimately, the game is still played on the court. Do I believe that the business owners of the NBA make shady moves behind the scenes in order to increase their profits now and in the future? Yes. If you disagree with me fine. The simple fact is, the last two post-seasons the Lakers were just not good enough to beat the Thunder or the Mavs before them......today is a whole different story. They are vastly improved......now remember Ismar, the Heat hadn't won a damn thing before last year, and were on the verge of becoming one of the most over-hyped, colossal busts in team sports. Would a team like that generate big revenue now and for the years to come? No. They needed to win a championship. I'm not saying David Stern made them win it, but they did win it. Now, Stern and the rest of the power-holders in the NBA offices couldn't be more delighted. Now they can pit the Miami Heat against The L.A. Lakers and reap maximum profits. There are countless instances in the history of the National Basketball Association that point to some very questionable, behind-the-scenes dealings. No Illuminati, no great "conspiracy" schemes. Just rich, powerful men who have a large financial stake in this business, making sure that business returns them the maximum potential profits. Do you understand any of that? Not agree with it, but just understand it......as for your personal references to my Mother, the "high-horse" I am on, (because I have an opinion that differs from yours), and my supposed idiocy......I wonder if you'd express those same sentiments to me if we were having this conversation face-to-face in a local pub or watering hole? My guess is probably not. I seem to think you're probably a just a keyboard tough guy shaking your fist at the screen. Not me homeboy, I've been around the block and back slick......and unfortunately, I've seen how a lot of this @#*%ed up world works. Sorry if that doesn't jive with your bright & shiny little existence.

    Daniel He 5 pts

     sinverguenzaperez I do agree that the NBA can be very heavy handed, but the Lakers have not always benefited from Stern's muddling. Landing Chris Paul would have been huge for the Lakers and could have set LA as well as the league up for a lot of money. However, Stern actually vetoed the trade, so it's not so obvious that the league officials are as imposing in a business sense as you suggest. I think your points on the unfairness of past officiating are valid, but let's not get carried away here.

    TheBallerGuru 9 pts

    People act like the Lakers had Chris Dudley at center last year. Howard is a good upgrade over Bynum defensively, but Bynum is better offensively and probably would have fit better with Steve Nash. By switching from the 2nd best center to the 1st best center doesn't really change the Lakers that much overall, especially since it remains to be seen how D-12 plays after back surgery. If you ask me, the Steve Nash acquisition changes the Lakers more than the Howard trade. The key here is to see how Mike Brown coaches all this talent, since Kobe is gonna still want the most touches, and Pau is gonna want the 2nd most. We'll see if Nash will be free to make the best passes for each possession when there is a defined pecking order for the Lakers.

    nathaniel.k.brown 5 pts

     TheBallerGuru You know Howard is actually a better offensive centre that will fit much better with Nash right? Howard is the best Pick and Roll big man finisher in the league. Bynum is terrible at PnR. 

     

    And he is not just a GOOD  upgrade defensively, he is a world changing upgrade. LAL benefits in a big way from this trade.

    erasmussen14 6 pts

     TheBallerGuru The Nash trade was huge, but got bigger after the Howard trade.  Howard is a huge upgrade defensively for the Lakers and also a better pick and roll player than Bynum, so he will thrive with Nash.  The Lakers can now: isolate Kobe, rick and roll with Nash/Pau/Howard, drive and dish Nash to MWP/Pau/Kobe, and aboslutely lock you down on D with MWP/Pau/Howard/Kobe, which alleviates Nash's lack of lateral speed on D.  The bench is thin, but the starting five should be unstoppable on offense and lockdown on D.

    AA 7 pts

     TheBallerGuru Well said.  The most sensible comments I`ve heard.  What wins = talent (including bench, at least 8 deep) + chemistry / teamwork + experience playing together.  With Howard, LA has minimal upgrade in talent, but still no bench.  Chemistry / teamwork will not be achieved if Kobe remains married to the ball, and they have no experience playing together.  That`s why Miami and Oklahoma are still favorites.

     

    If the NBA were a 3-on-3  played in 2 quarters, maybe LA has a chance.