Winners and Losers in Dwight Howard trade

The blockbuster went down today, and Dwight Howard is going to the Lakers.

Who won?

Who lost?

We’ll take it team-by team:

LOS ANGELES LAKERS — They are replacing the best center in the Western Conference with the best center in the Eastern Conference. And let there be no doubt — Dwight is twice the player that ‘Drew is. Howard has 41 career 20-20 games (scoring at least 20 points and grabbing at least 20 rebounds), with his last one coming in what will likely end up as his last game played for the Magic — April 7 at Philadelphia when he had 20 points and 22 rebounds before shutting his season down for back surgery. Bynum has two career 20-20 games, both coming last season. Howard (26) is older than Bynum (24), but until last season he had missed only seven games over his first seven seasons. In Bynum’s seven NBA seasons, he has played 46, 82, 35, 50, 65, 54 and 60 (of a possible 66). That’s 166 games missed due to injury and/or suspension. The Lakers also get Earl Clark and Chris Duhon, bringing their roster size to 13 and their payroll to just under $100 million. Clark will be buried behind Pau Gasol and Antawn Jamison, and Duhon will vie with Steve Blake for the backup minutes behind Steve Nash. Is the luxury tax going to sting? You betcha. Can the Lakers afford it? Uh, yup. Check out how much revenue they are about to start bringing in through their new TV deal.

This is the Lakers’ new depth chart:

C – Howard, Jordan Hill, Robert Sacre (R)

PF – Gasol, Jamison, Clark

SF — Metta World Peace, Darius Johnson-Odom (R), Devin Ebanks.

SG — Bryant, Andrew Goudelock, Jodie Meeks

PG — Nash, Blake, Duhon

VERDICT: WINNER (HUGE) The Lakers have a chance to be a 70-win team, and we can all go to bed now and wake up in the first week of June when the Lakers and Miami Heat met for the NBA championship. Remember that Committee on Bad Trades that San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich suggested be created after the Lakers’ acquisition of Pau Gasol? Popovich is probably thinking the same thing today.

magic small logo

ORLANDO MAGIC – They had a chance to get Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and four (!) first-round draft picks, three of which would have been unprotected coming from Brooklyn. They also had a chance to acquire a bevy of young players and unprotected draft picks from the Houston Rockets, as detailed here and here. But Rob Hennigan only acquired one first-round pick from each of the other three teams (the Lakers can only trade a 2017 first-round pick, as their 2013 and 2015 picks were shipped to Phoenix in the Nash sign-and-trade), he is getting killed in this deal. The Magic will receive Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, rookie swingman Moe Harkless, Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga, three first-round draft picks and a 2013 second-round pick from the Nuggets (by way of Golden State), an additional second-round pick. Somehow, the idea of rebuilding around a 24-year-old center, Bynum, did not appeal to them.

Here is a look at what the Magic’s depth chart looks like:

C – Vucevic, Gustavo Ayon.

PF- Glen Davis, Justin Harper, Harrington, McRoberts, Kyle O’Quinn (R), Andrew Nicholson (R), Harkless (R).

SF: Hedo Turkoglu, Quentin Richardson, Eyenga.

SG: Afflalo, J.J. Redick.

PG: Jameer Nelson.

VERDICT: LOSER (Train Wreck). They will be better than the Bobcats, and that’s about the best thing you can say about them.  Good luck, Jacque Vaughn. You’ve got your work cut out for you. Somewhere, Stan Van Gundy is laughing at his former employer.

sixers small logoPHILADELPHIA 76ERS – Yes, they are probably going to have to sweat out Bynum becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, even though they can offer him a three-year extension worth $60 million. The reason? Bynum can become unrestricted and get a five-year, $100 million deal from the Sixers, who will have his Bird rights. It’s the same reason why Deron Williams refused to sign an extension last year, and the reason why Howard will not sign an extension with the Lakers. Philadelphia has been shopping Andre Iguodala for years, and they will finally get rid of the $30.6 million Iggy is owed over the next two seasons. Bynum and Spencer Hawes are about as good of a center tandem as there is anywhere in the NBA, but additional moves are going to have to be made over the next 24 months to get this team to a place where it can compete with the Miami Heat and some of the other top teams in the East. The decision to amnesty Elton Brand will help speed that process.

The Sixers depth chart:

C – Bynum, Hawes, Kwame Brown.

PF – Thaddeus Young, Lavoy Allen, Arnett Moultrie.

SF – Dorell Wright.

SG – Evan Turner, Nick Young, Jason Richardson.

PG – Jrue Holiday, Royal Ivey.

VERDICT: The jury is out. Let’s see what they can turn Hawes into after he becomes trade-eligible on Dec. 15. But getting a player of Bynum’s caliber in exchange for Iguodala and Harkless is a pretty nice deal.

nuggets small logoDENVER NUGGETS – They must have a very high opinion of Iguodala, because Afflalo, Harrington, a future No. 1 and a future No. 2 is an awful lot to give up for a player who has been on the trading block since Carmelo Anthony was still a part of this team — especially since the Nuggets are already loaded at the small forward position. Makes you wonder whether there will be a post-Howard domino effect over the next few weeks, which there almost certainly will be. Harrington is owed $21.3 million over the next three seasons, so Denver would be out from under that contract and would have some additional cap flexibility in 2015-16. So from that aspect, there is a positive.  They will almost certainly be a playoff team.

The Nuggets’ post-trade depth chart:

C – JaVale McGee, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos.

PF – Kenneth Faried, Anthony Randolph.

SF – Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Jordan Hamilton, Quincy Miller (R).

SG – Corey Brewer, Evan Fournier (R).

PG – Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, Julyan Stone.

VERDICT: WINNER. If they stand pat and use Iguodala or Chandler as the starting 2-guard, they are not a bad looking team. If the draft pick they are surrendering is one of their own, it is worth bearing in mind that they still own the lesser of their own or the Knicks’ No. 1 pick in 2014, and New York’s in 2016. They also preserve the $13 million trade exception from the Nene deal with Washington.

(RELATED CONTENT: Mark Heisler on Lakers getting a latter day With/Kareem)

(POLL: Vote here on how many games you think the Lakers will win next season.)


  1. Eschu says

    Funny thing with this trade…Magic still keep Turkoglu’s $24 million owed over the next two years. I believe they were getting rid of that contract in the other presented trade scenarios…

    Plus, nobody ever rebuilt around late 1st round draft picks. If so, the Rockets would be in great shape right now. And they even had a bunch of mid 1st round draft picks.

  2. Jim says

    I can totally agree the original Nets deal brought back the Magic more in return than this deal. After all, the fact that they finally traded Howard and didn’t get back the second best player in this deal, Bynum, is awful. But like another post-er said before me the Magic were committed to rebuild. Plus, and I think this is important, if the Magic make that deal with the Nets they do get more talent back, but they also trade Howard in conference and assure that the Nets will always be better than them with Howard, Williams, and Johnson. You can’t make another team in your conference better than you for 4-5 years when making a trade. Plus, remember that Humphries would not do a sign and trade, so you really can’t put his name in those trades to begin with.

  3. JPizza says

    Sheridan you are so critical of this trade on the Magic side but you don’t seem to understand that they wanted to rebuild. The Rockets were not as willing to trade as much as initially speculated, and the Nets trade was no where near as good. With the Brooklyn trade the Magic would have been an 8 seed every year and not much room to get better because Lopez is extremely overpaid. You also need to wait to see what happens in a year or two. You jumped the gun in saying the CP3 trade was terrible “Sheridan on Chris Paul trade: No winners, only losers” look at New Orleans now. Wait a year or two and make an accurate assessment before you hate on this trade.

  4. Henrik says

    WOW. Otis Smith is laughing somewhere. This has to be the one of the worst returns ever when trading All-Star player. Three late first rounders, no cap relief and one good player (Afflalo). Magic would be better off if they let him go next year. At least they would make a point – this way DH is going to get max money and max years.
    HOU offer at least had 1 lottery pick (via Raptors) CAP and couple of interesting players from 2012 draft. Plus, HOU would take Hedo off their hands. There has to be something behind this – it just doesn’t make sense.
    I guess Stern has to ‘fix’ this. … with the first pick in 2013 NBA Draft Orlando Magic selects…

  5. Alex says

    I totally do not understand why the Net’s deal was not taken over this. Orlando would have had 4 first round picks and Marshon Brooks (a first round pick that has shown some serious skills). Kris Humphries and Brooks Lopez (if he stays healthy) are no slouches either and can be place fillers while the picks and Brooks mature. If they’re target was rebuilding mode, then they were idiots to turn down the Nets.

  6. Mopi says

    I don’t see how they (Orl) are better off with these pieces than Lopez.
    They easily could have been the worst team in the league with him as their C. And at least going forward, one young, talented, humble center was in place.
    All the cap space they own will go towards over-paying role players since no star in their right mind is gonna sign with this club.

  7. Eric says

    Orlando has to completely gut the roster and start over, which has begun here. What are they supposed to do? If they get Bynum or Gasol, then what are they? Constantly in the first round of the playoffs going nowhere and with little cap room & never able to get a lotto pick.

    The knocks on Orlando are so near sighted. They know this is the burn the house down and start all over moment. And, Chris, why do you talk like the Houston deal was actually going to happen? It might have, but it seems after the last fit that Howard threw, that even Houston realized that it would be nuts to give up so many assets when the guy was going to hit the road. There has been way too much rumor and downright garbage thrown out there.

  8. Benji says

    I usually agree with you but I don’t this time. Yes, Dwight to LA is all about star power. Is a team with Kobe going to be able to use Howard, Nash and Gasol to the best of their abilities? I would argue strongly no.
    The big winners in this is Philly. They lose AI who is the best wing defender in the NBA but they add a true low post player that makes a large impact on the offense as well as the defensive side of the ball. If Bynum agrees to resign then there is no question to me that the 76ers won in this trade.
    Denver will be better defensively but normally one player doesn’t completely change a team from an offensive team to a defensive team.
    The Magic lost and they lost big time. This is beyond silly. They have not just taken a step back, but they will more than likely be a bottom feeder for another 5+ years.

    • says

      Not sure where exactly you are disagreeing, unless it is the Philly part. As long as Bynum doesn’t bolt for Dallas next summer, they are winners in this trade. But are they able to contend with the top 1-3 teams in the East? I don’t think so.

      • bmoose says

        he seems to be disagreeing with your take on the lakers. he dosen’t believe that d howard will flourish on the left coast, b/c only one player who can shot at a time.

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