You read it people, Dwight Howard got what he wanted.
For those people already billing the Miami Heat to re-peat in the 2012-13 NBA basketball season, you better think again because after Dwight Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, all of a sudden, the Heat’s trio don’t mean squat anymore.
It took four teams, 11 other players, five draft picks and countless rounds of talks over many months, but finally, the Magic decided the time was right to start over without Dwight Howard, the NBA’s best center and end a saga that has dogged the franchise for what seems like an eternity.
Howard is off to play alongside Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, after a megadeal was worked out Thursday and completed Friday after the NBA reviewed and approved the particulars. As far as the other headliners involved, Andrew Bynum leaves the Lakers for Philadelphia and Andre Iguodala is heading to Denver. ”Are we taking a step back? Absolutely, we are,” Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. ”But we’re taking a step back with a vision.”
The Los Angeles Lakers were set to introduce Howard later Friday in Los Angeles, and even while otherwise busy at the London Olympics, Bryant quickly proclaimed that his team is now ”locked and loaded to bring back the title.”
”I told him this is a great place for him,” Kobe Bryant, who talked to Howard on Friday morning to welcome him to Los Angeles, said. ”You talk about all the great centers this team has had. Now he’s the next in line.” Bryant said the Lakers should be poised to win now. The Magic, they might not be saying that for years.
After an offseason when the Magic fired coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith, they’re now truly beginning anew. In 1996, the Magic watched Shaquille O’Neal sign as a free agent with the Lakers. At least this time, when they lost someone with the ”Superman” nickname, they got something back.
”Next season, and really subsequent seasons, are going to be about getting better every day,” Hennigan said.
Orlando got guard Arron Afflalo and forward Al Harrington from Denver, forward Moe Harkless and center Nikola Vucevic from Philadelphia, and forward Josh McRoberts and guard Christian Eyenga from the Lakers. The Lakers acquired Howard, guard Chris Duhon and forward Earl Clark from Orlando. The Magic also traded guard Jason Richardson to Philadelphia.
Orlando also gets five draft picks over five years.
Which team will win the 2012-13 NBA Season? Bodog sportsbook has the odds.
Miami Heat 2.50
Oklahoma City Thunder 19.00
Boston Celtics 3.75
Los Angeles Lakers 2.75Comments