It’s over! It’s over! Howard is finally out of Orlando and I for one am simply grateful I don’t have to read about his exhausting telenovela anymore. The Howard trade rumors had been going on for so long and involved so many different wild scenarios that most NBA fans had grown weary of the different headlines. Howard could go to New York. Howard could go to Houston. Howard could go to Mars. It’s all over and Howard is now a Los Angeles Laker.
First, here is the way it all went down. The deal involves four teams and will reshape both the Eastern and Western Conferences. Most importantly, Dwight Howard is now a Los Angeles Laker. In this exchange for Howard the Lakers only had to give up Andrew Bynum and a guaranteed first-round draft pick. The Denver Nuggets get Andre Iguodala from Philly. He should fit in well with their up tempo, ultra athletic style of ball. Philadelphia ends up with Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. The Orlando Magic get Arron Afflalo, Al Harington, Nikola Vecuvic, Moe Harkless, and a protected first-round pick from each of the three other teams. All things considered, Orlando got a pretty shrewd deal with plenty of potential for rebuilding short-term and long-term.
This makes LA the hands-down favorite to take the West and win the NBA Championship next year. LA managed to acquire Howard without getting rid of both Bynum and Pau Gasol. This is the key to their incredibly strong lineup next year. Their starting lineup is now Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Ron Artest (Metta World Peace), with Antawn Jamison coming off the bench.
This lineup is definitely stronger than the Thunder’s big-three and the Spurs big-three. Hell, this lineup make’s Miami’s big-three look much less impressive. Fact is, Miami still lacks a true center, a problem LA will certainly exploit.
Howard got what he wanted and more. Laker fans have not only definitely reclaimed the city of LA and the Western Conference, they will be the team to beat in the entire NBA. The only question is if all this talent can come together in their first year.
It took Boston and Miami — both with their 'big 3' — a couple of years to gel. With Kobe being an established championship winner and the go to guy down-the-stretch, most are betting the Lakers will start winning rings immediately.
So much for LeBron’s consecutive rings and future dynasty. The finals next year will be Miami and LA, but this time Miami will go home sad as they don’t have the bigs to compete with muscle like Howard. This is the biggest NBA shakeup in years.