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Some will be happy about the trade, other disappointed, but everyone will breath again after the official announcment that ends what seemed to be an endless story: Dwight Howard will play next season for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The King of the Rumours has finally found a new home and will seriously compete for a championship in the upcoming season. The trade to bring Howard to California involves four teams, the Lakers and the Orlando Magic, of course, but also the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets. The other players involved are Andrew Buynum, Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga (LAL), Chris Duhon, Earl Clark, Jason Richardson (ORL), Andre Igoudala, Maurice Harkless, Nikola Vucevic (PHI), Aaron Afflalo and Al Harrington (DEN).
Orlando acquires Josh McRoberts, Eyenga, Harkless, Vucevic, Afflalo, Harrington and five draft picks over the next five year. O good deal for the Magic, but probably not the best they could have achieved for their franchise-man.
The Lakers get Howard, of course, Duhon and Clark. Most importantly, however, GM Mitch Kupchak, manages tosacrifice only one of the big men, Buynum, and to keep the other one, Pau Gasol.
The 76ers get Jason Richardson and Andrew Buynum whille the Nuggets Andre Igoudala, who is still in London with Team USA for the Olympics and both teams seem to be strenghtened bu the trade.
But the real winners, this time, are the Los Angeles Lakers. Last season David Stern stopped a trade who would have brought Chris Paul to the Lakers, but now the Lakers fans do not really care. The threat of having a better basketball team in the same arena, seems already vanished.
Kobe Bryant in person, via Facebook, welcomed the Howard to the Lakers. “Well, it looks like Superman has found a home. 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. Wow, what a summer Jimmy and Mitch have had so far. ”
The Lakers, who also added Jodie Meeks to their roster, will have a Fab Five starting line-up.
Steve Nash as playmaker, Kobe Bryant as shooting guard, Metta World Peace as small forward and best outside defender, Pau Gasol as power forward and Dwight Howard as centre and inside defender, will make the road to the second staright NBA title for LeBron James’, and Miami Heat, much more complicated.
Photos courtesy of nba-evolution.com and http://twicsy.com