NBA AM: Four-Team Deal Lands Howard In LA
Finally A Deal: It took 244 days, but the Orlando Magic are on the verge of closure regarding disgruntled center Dwight Howard as word broke last night that a complex four-team deal was consummated. The trade would send Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers and center Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The deal (revised to reflect the completed transaction) is said to look like this:
Orlando acquired guard Aaron Afflalo and forward Al Harrington from Denver, forward Maurice Harkless and center Nikola Vucevic from Philadelphia, as well as forward Josh McRoberts and guard/forward Christian Eyenga from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Orlando receives: a second round pick from Denver in 2013, a first round pick from either Denver or New York in 2014, a conditional first round pick from Philadelphia and a conditional second round pick from the L.A. Lakers in 2015, and a conditional first round pick from the L.A. Lakers in 2017.
The Magic have traded center Dwight Howard, guard Chris Duhon and forward Earl Clark to the L.A. Lakers, while sending guard Jason Richardson to Philadelphia. As part of the deal, Philadelphia has acquired center Andrew Bynum, while Denver has acquired guard/forward Andre Iguodala.
The Magic have said repeatedly that any deal involving Howard would have to move off unfavorable contracts and it seems they are accomplishing some of that by sending off Richardson and his remaining three years and $18.6 million. Duhon and his remaining $7.25 million come off the books as well. Earl Clark, who was expected to opt-out, decided at the last minute to opt-in and has just one year and $1.24 million left on his deal.
The Lakers complete a deal for Howard without sending out Pau Gasol. It was believed Gasol would be included in the deal. While the Lakers do take on Duhon’s $7.25 million, the final year of his deal is only partially guaranteed for $1.5 million.
The 76ers get a bona fide All-Star center in Bynum; it cost them a promising center in Vucevic and rookie Harkless, but allowed them to move off Iguodala, who will land with the Nuggets. The 76ers do take on Richardson, although his remaining $18 million isn’t nearly the cap killer that Iguodala’s remaining two years and $31.114 million is.
Denver for their part swaps out Afflalo and Harrington for a bona fide All-Star and Olympian in Iguodala and clears out a roster spot. The Nuggets were sitting on 15 players before the trade.
In all, all four teams got what they wanted and for Orlando, they finally got closure to a circus that has dominated the franchise for more than 8 months.
IN RELATED Orlando Magic fans have already taken to Twitter, outraged at how little star power the Magic received in return for Howard, but the truth of the matter is the Magic were not seeking a star in return, at least not immediately.
In talking with the teams trying to gauge exactly what Orlando wanted for Howard, it became clear that the Magic wanted to cash out as much of the roster that did not work going forward, in an effort to rebuild. It was never about getting an All-Star in return which is why Bynum and Iguodala are not coming to Orlando in this deal.
The Magic turned Howard into a cap-clearing deal, which returned very tradable assets and ending contracts. The draft picks included in the deal won’t be the gems of the trade; it will be Orlando’s own picks that become something. As constructed today, the Magic are not very good and you can expected a few more deals to surface between now and the trade deadline that will further that goal.
The Magic do get a couple of promising young players on rookie deals to pair with the two players they selected this year in the draft. They will also open up a couple of roster spots for guys that come in as camp invites.
The Magic didn’t implode the team, but what they did in this deal was clean house and bring in players with tremendous upside.
A Name To Watch: Jahlil Okafor The summer camp tour came to an end earlier this week with adidas Nations wrapping up its camp in Long Beach. The camp offers a glimpse into the future as it brings together some of the best and brightest on the college basketball scene with some of the best and brightest in the high school world.
A name that seems to fit both categories is Jahlil Okafor, a 6’9, 270 pound forward and one of the top names in the 2014 college recruiting class.
Jahlil drew rave reviews from the coaches at Nations and drew the attention of a lot of the NBA scouts in attendance. If there is a name to know going forward it’s easily Okafor. HOOPSWORLD caught up with Jahlil after the consolation game in Long Beach, take a look:
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