Dwight Howard appears to be headed to Hollywood, but not via the Cleveland Cavaliers. A four-team trade including the All-Star center was rumored on Thursday, and later on that night the trade was drawn up. The Orlando Magic had the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets as trading partners this time, as onlooking teams that had prior involvement such as the Cavaliers could only drop their jaws when they saw which players were involved in the mega-trade.
To make it easier to read, here are the players/draft picks that each team received in the trade according to Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick:
Denver Nuggets: Sixers forward Andre Iguodala
Los Angeles Lakers: Magic center Dwight Howard
Orlando Magic: Denver guard Arron Afflalo, Denver forward Al Harrington, Philadelphia small forward Moe Harkless, Philadelphia center Nikola Vucevic, three future first-round picks and multiple second-round picks
Philadelphia 76ers: Lakers center Andre Bynum and Orlando guard Jason Richardson
The Cavaliers, who were involved in talks with the Magic as a trade partner twice, saw moves with the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers fall through both times. Players such as Kris Humphries and Andrew Bynum were rumored to be coming to Cleveland as part of the trade, but contracts couldn’t be negotiated and talks were dismissed as rumors.
With Anderson Varejao’s roster spot safe for now (head coach Byron Scott called him one of two guaranteed starters), how should Cavalier fans feel about the trade going through without their help? Should they feel as if they are missing out on not getting Andrew Bynum, or should they look forward to facing him multiple times this season to better evaluate his play?
Whatever the case is, I’m glad that the Cavaliers got out of the mess that was the Dwight Howard trade fiasco. Instead of giving up future draft picks and potential important future pieces, the Cavs never got to be a facilitator in the trade for Howard. Instead of helping create another NBA super team like the Miami Heat, the Cavaliers decided to be stubborn trade partners by making their demands very picky and worth their time.
So for now the Cavaliers will continue to build through the draft instead of looking to free agency or the trade market to help bring their team back up to playoff contention level. Keeping their picks instead of trading for a player who would only be around for one season or another player who may not resign after his one year is up is the best decision the front office could have made.
As far as the other teams go, I believe that every team besides the Magic were winners in this four-team trade. It was important that the Magic got Moe Harkless, but I feel like the other players the Magic received will not put their team over the top. The three first round draft picks and second round draft picks from the 76ers will be watched over closely, as those are the most important pieces that Orlando received in the trade.
The Lakers obviously now have one of the most potent starting rosters in the NBA, with Kobe Bryant at the two, Steve Nash playing point guard, Pau Gasol at power forward, Metta World Peace at small forward and Howard at center. The first year will be the most interesting because these players aren’t getting younger. Although their bench is able to provide relief for the starters, the Lakers might have to come away with a championship this first year, or they might have struggles in the following seasons.
The 76ers got a talented and young center in Andrew Bynum, building onto an already young and talented roster that includes Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner. The Nuggets got a player in Iguodala who is in his prime. He is playing at the peak of his career right now, and the Nuggets are a team that is on the verge of greatness. Iguodala won’t be the player to reform the Nuggets, but he is a great start to building a franchise in Denver.