25 observations about the Dwight Howard trade to send Howard to the Lakers, Andre Iguodala to the Nuggets, Andrew Bynum to the Sixers, and very little to the Orlando Magic.
1. Let’s start with LA, since they’re the moneymaker for media and they get the best player. Wow. Holy Wow. Holy Geez Wow. The amount of talent on one team is just absurd.
2. We know where Nash fits, in the pick and roll with Howard. We know where Nash and Pau fit. We even know where Pau and Howard fit, with what we saw from Gasol’s lobs to Bynum last season. But where does Kobe fit in this? Pick and roll with Howard? Perimeter outlet shooter? Is he the winch at the elbow? How does tis work? Can he really deal with being a perimeter-outlet/ backcut scorer? That’s going to be a fascinating dynamic to watch. Beyond, you know, the general death and destruction this team will create on a nightly basis.
3. I thought that the Lakers would land Howard at the start, because it makes sense, right? Given what we know about the NBA, the Lakers getting what they want seems like a thing that would happen. I was convinced otherwise by Dwight and his agent’s constant scheming and pushing of the narrative, with all signs headed to Brooklyn, but looks like that wasn’t the case. Unfortunately, it appears the Magic passed up what would have been a bad deal for the Magic with the Nets for an equally-bad-if-not-worse deal for the Magic with the four-team trade.
4. Howard gets warm weather, star power, a championship-contending team and will eventually get the money he wants. Because, really, when you look at everything he’s pulled in the last year, that seems fair.
5. For the Magic, I do think we need to give this trade some time before we react to it, but of course, no one will. They didn’t get rid of Hedo Turkoglu’s contract, despite it being with range of being dumpable, they didn’t lose Glen Davis’ contract, despite him having a surprisingly good year last year, they didn’t land an Eric Gordon player (who didn’t exist on the market). Getting Iguodala wouldn’t have helped him, at his age, salary, and role. Getting Bynum wouldn’t have helped them with his age, salary, and expiring nature (do you want to see how Bynum reacts to being on a lottery team? Because I don’t.) doesn’t help them. Getting Pau Gasol wouldn’t have helped them. We have to wait a year to see what they do in the draft and with the rest of the contracts on roster. But the lottery protections being reported on the picks make this really tough. That is the one element that makes it worse than the proposed Nets trade. You needed to at least have the possibility of getting a good pick if everything went haywire for a team.
6. It’s not a total loss for the Magic. Getting rid of the contracts of JRich and Duhon is considerable, and it’ll get lost but both Vucevic and Harkless are quality players. It doesn’t make up for the overall stench of the deal, but there is some potential there, and most of it is on easy-to-move contracts.
7. The Sixers finally got off the pot, to to speak. After talking about trading Andre Iguodala for four years, they finally pull the trigger and land the second-best center in the league. Bynum gives them the dominant offensive force they’ve been looking for, a go-to player who can also defend, and has no equal in the Eastern Conference. With a young, athletic roster and a great defensive system, the Sixers could challenge for the Atlantic title.
8. That’s assuming Bynum’s healthy. And motivated. And doesn’t kill Doug Collins. Or Collins kills him. So yeah, question marks.
9. The Sixers go from starting Hawes and Kwame Brown to likely bringing Brown off the bench and playing Thaddeus Young a high percentage of the time at the combo-forward spot. Oh, and they have Lavoy Allen. They have an army of bigs to throw at teams.
10. Denver is prepared to meet the athletic-wing hordes from Houston on the fields of battle with their own army.
11. Gallo moves back to the two-spot, where he was in New York, Wilson Chandler and Jordan Hamilton make up the reserve core, and the Nuggets have a more versatile playmaker who can also defend at an elite level. Big win for the Nuggets.
12. If you get an extension from the Nuggets, you might as well sell your house at this point.
13. Lawson-Iguodala-McGee is a pretty great core on its own, before you throw in Kenneth Faried and Gallinari. The Nuggets have about six guys who can defend multiple positions.
14. There’s not really a player that Iguodala doesn’t make better on that team. Lawson’s off-ball abilities will thrive with Iguodala on the floor, and McGee will prosper in the pick and roll. And he provides some veteran leadership in the locker room next to his old teammate Andre Miller.
15. Seriously, Steve-Nash-to-Dwight-Howard pick-and-roll. Run for your lives.
16. The Magic should have moved either Davis or Turkoglu in this deal, even with those deals not being as toxic as perceived. They should have gotten protection-free picks. They should have gotten a better prospect out of the deal or waited till one came available.
17. But then, they might have been able to had Howard not constantly and maliciously damaged their leverage at every turn.
18. Dwight Howard’s last act as an Orlando Magic player was skipping his own basketball camp… for kids.
19. Who’s ready for the Jameer Nelson-Aaron Afflalo-Moe Harkless-Glen Davis- Andrew Nicholson era?
20. Pau Gasol is now the fourth-best player on his team. Metta World Peace, an elite defender, is now fifth.
21. The Sixers have to be right there for the Atlantic now. And Jonas Valanciunas for the Raptors has to face Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez, Andrew Bynum, and Tyson Chandler 12 times a year. Somebody buy the kid a beer.
22. And hey, the trade didn’t get vetoed! So we’ve got that going for us. And by us, I mean everyone who didn’t want to hear complaints about the owner of a team rejecting a bad deal.
23. There will be a lot of backstory blame passed around the Magic organization to try and figure out who was in charge, ownership or Rob Hennigan. Not the way you wanted to start.
24. Remember when Melo-Amar’e was a powerful team-up? Remember when Deron Williams-Joe Johnson was big news?
25. We might just get that Heat-Lakers, LeBron-Kobe finals after all.