After months of speculation, the Orlando Magic is reportedly finally setting Dwight Howard free. It’s an anticlimactic end to a story that took almost as many turns as Walang Hanggan.
Here’s a quick recap of all the drama: Dwight makes it known before last season that he wants out of Orlando; Dwight then allegedly asks for the Magic’s head coach, the rotund Stan Van Gundy, to be fired (which he then denies ever doing, leading to this awkward interview link:
Dwight injures his back, Orlando tanks in the playoffs without him, he misses the Olympics; Dwight continues to dream—and be pretty stern on—of leaving Orlando.
Then, finally, it happened. Pending the NBA’s approval, Howard will be part of a four-team, eight-player trade that will send him to the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s a pretty complicated deal that also includes All-Stars Andrew Bynum and Andre Igoudala. Here’s the nitty-gritty:
Los Angeles Lakers: gets Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, and Chris Duhon (from Orlando)
Philadelphia 76ers: gets Andrew Bynum (from Los Angeles), Jason Richardson (from Orlando)
Denver Nuggets: gets Andre Iguodala (from Philadelphia)
Orlando Magic: gets Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington (from Denver), Nikola Vucecic and Moe Harkless (from Philadelphia), and lottery protected first-round picks from each of the three teams
We know what you Lakers diehards are thinking: How many alley-oops will Steve Nash throw to big old Dwight? How many rim-rattling dunks will Kobe and Dwight pull off? Will Dwight grow facial hair that rivals that of Pau Gasol’s? Definitely all worth salivating over. But keep in mind though that these new super-Lakers need to get past a crucial phase: adjusting to playing with each other. Right, 2004 super-fail-Lakers?
That said, it seems that the Magic will go through a rebuilding year while the Nuggets appear to have strengthen their weakest position (shooting guard), and the 76ers finally has someone scary in the middle. Let the “who-is-the-winner-here” debate start.
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