February 26, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Eastern Conference center Dwight Howard (12) of the Orlando Magic and Western Conference guard Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers (24) battle for position during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center. The Western Conference all-stars defeated the Eastern Conference all-stars 152-149. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
ESPN says a trade sending Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers is 'complete.' It does not involve the Houston Rockets, who have reportedly been in a months-long negotiation with Orlando to obtain Howard from the Magic. Here's the report:
A source with direct knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com's Marc Stein the Lakers will receive Howard, the Denver Nuggets will acquire Andre Iguodala, the 76ers will receive Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one protected future first-round pick from each of the other three teams.
In addition, the Magic will be getting other pieces, including 76ers No. 1 draft pick Moe Harkless, a source told Stein.
Sources close to the process told Stein and ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne that a trade call with the league office has been scheduled for Friday to secure the necessary NBA approval to make the deal official.
A couple of reactions:
1) What in the HELL is Orlando thinking? Are they absolutely nuts? Houston's assets — a protected lottery pick, first-rounders from this year and youth across the board — take a backseat to this? There must be more here. Maybe Houston didn't spice the offer up enough. Or maybe they did and Hennigan caved into pressure from other teams. There has to be more headed Orlando's way. WHAT IS GOING ON.
2) JA Adande says Bynum will re-sign in Philadelphia (UPDATE: Adande has retracted that statement. Hmm). Either way, what a coup for the Sixers and the Nuggets. Terrific swap that fits both teams, and Denver sheds tons of salary in the process. Meanwhile, the Lakers keep Pau Gasol. As Adande said on Twitter, it makes sense for everyone, except Orlando.
3) Since no trade appears imminent that will rescue Houston's ridiculous roster, now what? Regardless of whether you wanted Dwight Howard or didn't want Dwight Howard, this goes down as ANOTHER big miss for Morey. If you thought the media was rough on him leading up to this, the gripes are about to triple. It feels unfair to put another miss on Morey's record if the Magic totally botched the better offer... but it's still a miss. He still hasn't gotten it done. And what's even worse is the obvious nature in which he tried to get it done. Look how much C4 he put into the roster in order to make a Dwight run. It failed. Now he just has a jumbled joke of a roster in front of him and he's going to have to figure out what to do with it before opening night.
4) Don't get me wrong, I like Houston's rookies and the direction this now takes them. But there is a big mess that needs to be cleaned up before the Rockets can start rebuilding, assuming they decide to take that route. (Hint: I don't think they will take that route, unless this miss puts them over the edge).
5) More starpower heads West while Bynum and scrubs head East. Perfect.
Share your thoughts below. I have to admit, I thought Houston was going to end up with Howard eventually. I thought the bird rights would be enough to get him to stay, and I was totally on board with bringing him in. We'll have to let this play out some more to see what happened throughout the process.
I think one Tweet sums this up nicely for Orlando:
@jphanned: Lottery picks, young+cheap talent, financial flexibility. How do you deal a top-5 player & not get ONE of these things in return?