Dwight Howard Headed to Lakers!

Posted on August 10, 2012

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Well…well…well! It looks like Los Angeles Lakers fans can finally stop crying about how the league played them last season after the lockout ended. You landed the tantrum-thrower of the year Dwight Howard in a deal involving four teams, 12 players and five draft picks.

Do I sound a bit salty? YES!

Am I unamused? HELL YES!

Chocolate shoulders in purple and gold! YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!

First Shaq and now this…if I’m an Orlando Magic fan…I’m scratching my head in awe and disgust at the way history has repeated itself. Let’s be clear though, Howard is no Shaq (the original Superman.) Shaq wasn’t a cry baby he was a leader.

I guess we will see how all of this plays out. If Dwight Howard stays healthy the Lakers will have one hell of a starting lineup but if that back gives out he will be watching from the sidelines like the rest of us.

That’s my two cents.

Check out the official AP article below.

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LONDON (AP) — Dwight  Howard got his wish: He’s out of Orlando.

The All-Star center was traded Friday to the Los  Angeles Lakers, the last act of his long, drawn-out departure from the  Magic. It took four teams, 12 players, five draft picks and countless rounds of  talks with different clubs to get done, but it finally was completed Friday  after the NBA reviewed and approved the deal.

So after an offseason where the Magic fired coach Stan Van Gundy and general  manager Otis Smith, now they’re truly beginning anew. Howard is gone as well,  the second time the franchise has lost a big-man star to the Lakers.

In 1996, the Magic watched Shaquille O’Neal sign as a free agent with the  Lakers. At least this time, when they lost someone with the “Superman” nickname,  they got something back.

“Well, it looks like Superman has found a home,” Lakers guard Kobe  Bryant wrote on his Facebook page.

A lot of players found new homes, including Andrew  Bynum, sent by the Lakers to the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers sent Andre  Iguodala – part of the U.S. Olympic team, set to play a semifinal game at  the London Games on Friday – to the Denver  Nuggets.

“I know my best basketball is ahead of me,” Iguodala wrote on Twitter.

Orlando got guard Arron  Afflalo and forward Al  Harrington from Denver, forward Moe Harkless and center Nikola  Vucevic from Philadelphia, and forward Josh  McRoberts and guard Christian  Eyenga from the Lakers. The Lakers got Howard, guard Chris  Duhon and forward Earl  Clark from Orlando. The Magic also traded guard Jason  Richardson to Philadelphia.

Orlando also gets five draft picks over five years.

“A primary goal for our basketball team is to achieve sustainability while  maintaining a long-term vision. We feel this deal puts us in a position to begin  building in that direction,” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. “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 pulled off the deal and somehow kept Pau  Gasol in the process — something many didn’t expect when the Lakers first  started getting mentioned in the Howard trade mix.

The trade was announced during the Spain-Russia semifinal matchup at the  Olympics. Gasol scored 16 points, helping the Spanish team reach the gold medal  game with a 67-59 win.

Afterward, that was secondary. He was still with the Lakers, and now has the  game’s most dominant big man alongside him.

“That’s big news,” Gasol said. “Huge. I’ve been involved in so many talks and  so many rumors. I feel relieved. I’m anxious and excited to be back with our  team.”

The Magic said they were also getting a second-round draft pick from Denver  next year, 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 Lakers in 2015, and a conditional first-round pick from the Lakers  in 2017.

Howard averaged 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds in 54 regular-season games for  Orlando last season. In eight seasons with the Magic, he averaged 18.4 points  and 13.0 rebounds.

And he would figure to make the Lakers even more of a title contender.

The Western Conference is loaded – Oklahoma City is young, talented and  likely to be driven after losing the NBA Finals to the Miami  Heat, San Antonio was spectacular last season, the Los  Angeles Clippers are rising, and the Nuggets could be much better with  Iguodala.

But the Lakers have clearly loaded up to make a run at what would be Bryant’s  sixth title next season. Steve  Nash was added from Phoenix to run the offense, and now they’ve got Howard  to occupy the low post.

“Unreal!” Bryant wrote.

The Nuggets believe Iguodala is a good fit.

“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 of  basketball operations Masai Ujiri said. “He’s an Olympian, a great defender and  a great all-around player.”

Howard entered last season as the subject of trade rumors, especially since  he could have opted out of his deal at season’s end and become a free agent. He  decided that he would not exercise that option, then found himself in another  firestorm in April when Van Gundy said Howard wanted him fired.

Howard denied it. Ultimately, it didn’t matter. Van Gundy’s gone, Smith is  gone, and now so is Howard.

He went to Los Angeles for back surgery in April, when it was announced that  he would miss both the rest of the Orlando season and the London Olympics.

Maybe it was fitting that the surgery was in Los Angeles.

It’s been Howard’s home base ever since, and now it’s where he’ll work.

“We’d like to thank Andrew for all he’s done for the team and the  organization,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “Andrew has been with  us since we drafted him at 17 years old and over the last seven years we have  watched him develop into an All-Star player who has helped the team win two NBA  championships. He’s a special talent with a bright future.”

Howard had asked for a trade to Brooklyn. Despite several scenarios being  discussed, Orlando failed to work out a deal with the Nets, but remained  determined to move their disgruntled big man.

“I wish nothing but the best for Big Bynum,” Bryant wrote. “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.”

Copyright 2012 Associated Press.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten,  or redistributed.

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