ESPN.com news services had this to say about this earth-shattering situation:
A four-team trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers is complete, multiple sources told ESPN on Thursday night.
Update: Friday, 1 a.m. ET by Ryan Rudnansky
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports added after the grand announcement:
Lakers expected to get guard Chris Duhon & forward Earl Clark in Dwight Howard deal, too, source tells Y! Sports. Magic to land 2nd rd picks— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) August 10, 2012
Per the ESPN report, "A source with direct knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com's Marc Stein the Lakers will receive Howard, the Denver Nuggets will acquire Andre Iguodala, the 76ers will receive Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one protected future first-round pick from each of the other three teams."
On top of that, Orlando is to receive 76ers first-round selection Moe Harkless, and, according to HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy, possibly another first-round pick:
The Orlando Magic will receive AT LEAST three first-round picks. Source says they may get a fourth pick as well.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) August 10, 2012
This is a power move by the Lakers, who refuse to let Kobe Bryant live in frustration for the remainder of his career. With Dwight Howard manning the post, Bryant will see more open shots for the first time since Shaquille O'Neil was dominating the paint. Hanging onto All-Star power forward Pau Gasol—versus Andrew Bynum, and his well-documented baggage—only sweetens the pot.
With Howard, Bryant, Gasol and Steve Nash teaming up in LA, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder can kiss their dynastic dreams goodbye. Bryant is still a top-three talent in the game and Howard will only prolong the future Hall of Famer's career, essentially ensuring multiple trips to the NBA Finals for the next three to five years.
The Magic, who are essentially an afterthought in the NBA now, finally rid themselves of the mind games and "Dwightmare" that has plagued the franchise for what feels like a damn millennium at this point.
Howard, who turns 27 in December, may have taken them to the NBA Finals against the Lakers a few years ago, but it has been an awful downfall ever since. The Magic Kingdom may have lost a superstar, but the franchise will be able to sleep easy knowing they received viable assets in return.
Fans may resent Howard for how he handled his last remaining year in Orlando, but the star center, at least, will have no regret about his waffling when he steps on the court with the Black Mamba. Now in one of the world's premier markets, playing for the NBA's premier franchise, Howard will truly feel like Superman.
Howard is a megastar that commands the bright lights with his sheer size and natural charisma. For the Lakers, this is the second coming of Shaq. Now, it's Howard's turn to tear apart the NBA landscape in the Purple and Gold.
This deal rids the Magic of a major headache, while making Kobe Bryant a very happy player.
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