NBA: Howard goes to Lakers in four-team deal
Following a drawn out and at times tenuous process, the Orlando Magic have finally said goodbye to Dwight Howard.
The All-Star center has been officially sent to the Los Angeles Lakers in a complicated four-team, 12-player swap. The deal was consummated after NBA officials reviewed all aspects on Friday.
The Magic get guard Arron Afflalo and forward Al Harrington from the Denver Nuggets, center Nikola Vucevic and forward Moe Harkless from the Philadelphia 76ers, and forward Josh McRoberts and guard Christian Eyenga from the Lakers. They also receive a conditional first-round pick from each of the other three teams involved.
Philadelphia also ships guard Andre Iguodala to Denver, and receives center Andrew Bynum from the Lakers and guard Jason Richardson from Orlando.
“A primary goal for our basketball team is to achieve sustainability while maintaining a long-term vision,” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. “We feel this deal puts us in a position to begin building in that direction. In addition to the six players joining our team, we will be in a position to maximize our salary cap flexibility in the near future, as well as utilize the multiple draft picks we have acquired going forward.”
The Lakers also received guard Chris Duhon and forward Earl Clark from Orlando, while Orlando receives five draft picks over five years.
Howard’s Lakers’ debut may have to wait, since he’s expected to miss the start of the regular season while he recovers from back surgery, sources told ESPN.com.
In a coup for the Lakers, they acquired Howard without giving up forward Pau Gasol.
“It looks like Superman has found a home,” Lakers star Kobe Bryant posted on his Facebook page. “I wish nothing but the best for Big Bynum. I hope he follows what was a great season last year with an even better one next year. I know LA is excited about the deal and rightfully so. The Lakers landed a piece that will hopefully carry the franchise long after I’m gone. I have spoken to Dwight Howard already and we are locked and loaded to bring back the title.”
For their part, Denver was thrilled to acquire the 28-year-old Iguodala. The 6-foot-6, 207-pounder has averaged 15.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists in eight seasons with the 76ers.
“It’s not often you get the opportunity to improve your team by adding an All-Star player like Andre Iguodala,” Nuggets Executive Vice President Masai Ujiri said. “He’s an Olympian, a great defender and a great all-around player. We think he fits in really well with the type of system coach George Karl runs and the team we have here in Denver.”
Philadelphia was also happy to land Bynum, who grew up about an hour from Philadelphia, in Plainsboro, N.J. He could sign a three-year, $60 million extension this season or wait to become a free agent after the season and be eligible for a five-year, $102 million deal.
“We’re very excited to welcome Andrew Bynum, one of the league’s best, young centers, and Jason Richardson, a proven, respected veteran, to the Philadelphia 76ers,” managing owner Josh Harris said. “As we stated from the outset, our ownership group is committed to exploring every option available to us in order to improve our team. This trade is the culmination of a very active off-season, one that we believe positions the Sixers for success this season and for many years to come.”
—The Cleveland Cavaliers signed center Micheal Eric to a contract, the team announced Friday.
Terms of the deal were not announced.
Eric, a 24-year-old rookie out of Temple, averaged 9.0 points and shot 52.1 percent his senior season with the Owls. He missed 13 games during the season with a fractured right patella.
The 6-foot-11, 240-pound Nigerian, played five games with the Cavaliers’ Summer League squad. He averaged 4.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and shot 66.7 percent.
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