Just when you thought the Dwight Howard saga was over, talks of him becoming a Laker have flared up once more.
This time, Woj from Yahoo! Sports reports that the Lakers will land Al Harrington and Dwight Howard for Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Wait, what the hell?
Here’s what Woj has for us:
The Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers are engaged with the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers in a four-way blockbuster that could ultimately deliver superstar center Dwight Howard to the Lakers, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The usual players — Cleveland, Houston — are obviously not included, and now the 76ers (who have been shopping for a big man for quite awhile), and they’ll be the team to land soon-to-be superstar Andrew Bynum. Here’s more from Woj:
There are other players involved in these fluid talks, but a framework of the possible deal includes Howard and Denver forward Al Harrington going to the Lakers, Philadelphia guard Andre Iguodala going to the Nuggets, Los Angeles center Andrew Bynum moving to the 76ers, and Los Angeles forward Pau Gasol and Denver guard Arron Afflalo going to the Magic, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The winners that come out of this is neither the Lakers nor the Magic, but the 76ers, who will give up Andre Iguodala and, likely, picks for Andrew Bynum.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are the obvious losers here. Giving up 14 feet of skill and size is never a great thing, but it’s even less excusable when it’s for the currently-injured and shorter Dwight Howard, even if he is dominant in his own right.
It’s a crappy trade, if it goes through. Al Harrington is pretty washed up and worth a veteran’s minimum contract from the Lakers, and even more so now that L.A. has Jordan Hill and Antawn Jamison coming off the bench.
The other crucial piece in this trade is Arron Afflalo, a tough, young defensive 2-guard who has a reputation for lockdown defense and solid shooting as well as versatility. In every season since he was drafted out of UCLA by the Pistons in 2007, he has improved in every major statistical category and has slowly came to his own as a leader of the Denver Nuggets.
So it would have been excusable had Afflalo would hypothetically join LA along with Dwight Howard — especially since Kobe Bryant is still without a backup — but that’s not the case and the Magic will almost certainly want Afflalo in the deal.
Pau Gasol would also be sent to the Magic with $38 million left on his contract over the next two years.
Mitch Kupchak should pass, because while Dwight Howard is a future NBA MVP, he’s not worth giving up a seemingly reborn Pau Gasol — based on his beastly performance in the 2012 Olympic Games — and Andrew Bynum, who is closing the gap for the label of best center in the NBA.
We’ll keep you updated.