On August 10th, 2012 there was a four team trade that was highlighted by the Los Angeles Lakers receiving the best center in the league, Dwight Howard. Not even a year has gone by from a trade where the Orlando Magic received nothing but failing grades from NBA experts. The Magic dealt one of the top 5 players in the league and didn’t receive the second or even third best player involved in the trade.
Let’s recap the trade for those who forgot:
11 Months Later-
Los Angeles Lakers: Lost Dwight Howard in free agency to the Houston Rockets. Howard received much of the blame for the Lakers letdown of a season, barely sneaking in the playoffs the last day of the regular season. Howard became the first superstar to spurn the Lakers. Earl Clark was a pleasant surprise last season especially for being a throw in to the trade to make the salaries work. Clark thrived in Coach D’Antoni’s system and received heavy minutes when Howard and Pau Gasol were out for injuries. Clark also left the Lakers yesterday, but he fled to Cleveland. Chris Duhon was waived two weeks ago, leaving the Lakers with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from the trade except cap space for the Summer of 2014 which could be useful. Look for the Lakers to be playing Riggin’ for Wiggins.
Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets only received one piece in the four team trade but it was a stellar one in Andre Iguodala. Iguodala helped lead the Nuggets to the 3rd best record in the Western Conference before losing in the first round to the GOLDEN STATE Warriors. In the news that got completely overshadowed by the Dwightmare finally ending, Iguodala signed a 4 year deal with the Warriors. The Nuggets also left with Absolutely Nothing as evidence this trade ever happened. The Nuggets will be in a rough place next year. They should be good enough to make the playoffs but not strong enough to be real threats in the West to contend with Oklahoma City, Clippers, Spurs, Rockets & Warriors. On the other hand they won’t be bad enough to really have a chance at winning the lottery.
Philadelphia 76ers: Mika Koivuniemi!!!! Ever heard of him? Me Neither. Mika was the highest earner in Profesional Bowling for the 2012-13 season making a little over $160,000. Not bad for a professional bowling. Then we have this man…..
Andrew Bynum who made nearly $17 million dollars last season playing Zero games of professional basketball and one game of bowling that cost him the entire season. Bynum is still a free agent but it is clear now that Philadelphia will not be resigning Bynum. On draft night, the 76ers dealt their all-star Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel (Bynum’s young replacement) and a first round draft pick in next year’s spectacular class which is only top 5 protected. The 76ers still have Jason Richardson but his name has been on the trading block recently with teams new obsession of “Three and D Guys” to spread the floor. The 76ers will be big players in the Riggin for Wiggins but have a blueprint for the future.
Orlando Magic: Finally, the ugly duckling and unanimously declared loser from 11 months ago is walking around with its chin up and laughing at the other three teams. Let’s start off by saying the Magic had the worst record in the league last season but all is not bleak for Orlando. The Magic received Nikola Vucevic who averaged a double-double last season for them and is on an AMAZING DEAL! 3 Years for $5.15 million. Aaron Afflalo averaged 16.5 ppg last year for the Magic and is a nice young piece to build on or swing in a trade. Mo Harkless would have been a great piece to develop for Philly but he was also a throw in for the trade and had a great second half to the season averaging over 13 points a game the last two months. Josh McRoberts & Christian Eyenga have been waived while Al Harrington was injured for most of the year. The Magic also received 5 draft picks including a first round pick from each team. These teams are all bound for the lottery in the near future so these draft picks could lead into something. One year later, there is no question that the Orlando Magic are the clear winners because of the talents they received but they are also the winners because they didn’t have to deal with the circus that is DWIGHT HOWARD!