Last night on Thursday August 9, 2012 Dwight Howard was traded to the LA Lakers in a 4 team trade. The teams involved in the trade include the LA Lakers, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Denver Nuggets. All the teams need now is an approval of the trade from the league, which should happen sometime today, then the players involved can join their new teams. In the trade the Lakers will get Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, and Earl Clark; the 76ers will get Andrew Bynum, and Jason Richardson; the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, and one protected first round pick from each of the teams involved; and the Nuggets will get Andre Iguodala.
A protected draft pick means that a team can pick a player from the draft, but will only acquire that player if all the conditions are met.
Dwight Howard has been trying to leave the Magic for quite some time now and is finally getting what he wanted, well sort-of. Howard’s first choice was to go and play for the Brooklyn Nets with Deron Williams, but that did not happen after months of drama. Howard also had the Dallas Mavericks and the LA Lakers on his want list as his other choices. Howard got traded to one of the three teams on his want list, but still has a chance to play for one of the others if he does not like playing for LA. Howard only has one year left on his contract and will be a free agent next summer if he does not sign a contract extension with LA. The Lakers are not looking to have Howard for just one year, they will do their best to help him fit in and see LA as his new home so that he will sign an extension before this coming season ends. If Howard does not like being in LA the Mavericks will surely be waiting for him this summer to make him an offer, but it will be hard for Howard to not like being a Laker this season. Over the summer the Lakers signed free agent Steve Nash. Nash is one of the best guards in the league and is very experienced. Nash has played in the NBA for 16 years and averages 14.5 points, 8.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds per game. Nash is one of my favorite guards to watch because he can make some of the most amazing no-look-passes I have ever seen. Nash can make plays happen and get the ball to the right teammate for the shot or will get in the right position to make it himself. The Lakers were also able to keep their forward Pau Gasol from being traded, even though it was talked about. A team with Howard, Gasol, Nash, and Bryant makes for a definite team to watch out for this season. If this Lakers team and create chemistry they will be a tough team to beat.
With the team the Lakers have this year, assuming the trade will be approved by the league, it will be very surprising if the Lakers have a bad year. I expect them to have a great year being in the top 5 teams in the Western Conference, maybe even the top 2. I do not believe the Lakers will be better than the Oklahoma Thunder but they will be a good matchup. I also predict that Howard will fall in love with LA and will sign a contract extension before the 2012-2013 season ends.