If you’re anything like me, you went to bed Thursday night sore from basketball, a little too hopped up on Diet Coke and skeptical that a reported four-team trade involving Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Andre Iguodala would actually get done. This is Dwight Howard in 2012 after all, which is pretty much the antithesis of things happening in a timely manner, if at all.

So imagine my (our) surprise when I checked Twitter at 3:30 am, thanks to the aforementioned Diet Cokes — Dwight Howard traded to the Lakers, plus other stuff that is interesting but not nearly as shocking.

Naturally, this leads to questions. The first among them being, of course, is Dwight Howard really a Laker? Really? For serious?

Once you ask the first one, it’s like opening a Pandora’s box of various quandaries, both large and small. For instance:

  • Is this trade going to be rescinded? Because when it comes to “basketball reasons,” the Magic are taking home far less than the Horners were going to in the first Chris Paul trade.
  • The best the Magic could get for the best center in basketball was Arron Afflalo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Harrington and horrible draft picks? And they don’t even get two of the picks until 2015 and 2017?
  • Seriously, the Magic are getting back lottery-protected picks? It’s not like any of the teams they traded with are going to be lottery teams anyway, but even if they somehow are, the Magic really aren’t getting those picks? Smart.
  • Did Chaz have anything to do with this?
  • Is this team so good that not even Mike Brown can screw it up?
  • Does this mean the Magic preferred Arron Afflalo to Brook Lopez or Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol? Have they seen all of those players playing basketball?
  • How many games did Dwight play for the Magic after deciding not to opt out? (10, haha.)
  • Can you still get a Dwight Howard “Loyalty” t0shirt from the Magic?
  • Following an NBA title and this trade, is LeBron James turning face?
  • Is this mostly Ramon Sessions’ fault for opting out?
  • Did the Magic forget to rid themselves of Hedo Turkoglu’s and Glen Davis’ contracts?
  • Will the Nuggets lead the NBA in alley-oops caught?
  • Is this the first time two Andres (Iguodala and Miller) will be playing together since the last time they played together?
  • Who is the next star that Darryl Morey is going to pursue and not acquire?
  • Is the collective bargaining agreement pointless?
  • In turn, does that make last summer’s lockout double-pointless?
  • Is it possible to beat “Dwight Howard is ‘Taken’” as a meme?
  • How many teams has Chris Duhon played for?
  • Is the new starting lineup in Philadelphia going to be Kwame Brown at center, Andrew Bynum at power forward and Spencer Hawes at small forward since there’s a hole there and he likes hanging out on the perimeter anyways?
  • Will Dwight Howard be able to accept that he is Shaquille O’Neal? Not “basically” any more, he is him.
  • How will any of their fans want to stay Orlando Magic fans?

These were just off the top of my head. I’m sure you have a lot of questions too. Feel free to add them in the comments.

Comments (41)

  1. Podcast on this trade coming up?

  2. - While the Lakers are built to beat the Heat, how can they when they’ll still fall to the Thunder?
    - If U.S. and Spain meet on Sunday, how long will the pre-game hug last between Kobe and Pau? 15 seconds? 45 seconds? 5 minutes, while simultaneously jumping up and down??

    • “…how can they when they’ll still fall to the Thunder?”
      Umm… really?

      Let’s recap:
      LA vs OKC
      Game 1 – blowout. Ugh.
      2 – Thunder win by 2, and were lucky to do so.
      3 – LA win by 3.
      4 – OKC by 3. Again, lucky finish.
      5 – OKC clearly.
      OKC were the better team, absolutely. But they had 2 games where they looked like they were GOING to lose… and managed to pull it out of the fire. Yes, LA were fortunate to win game 3 – but they did lead the majority of the game… but in Games 2 & 4 LA had significant leads. 7 points up with under 2 min to go, and managed to choke. A 13pt lead in the 4th – lose.
      Hell, even in game 5 it was close until the 4th.

      And you add Steve Nash, and Dwight Howard to that team… and you’ll stand by “they won’t beat OKC”.
      Sure, it won’t be a given… but I would hazard a guess that the odds on a Lakers title are shorter than the odds on an OKC one.

      • Damn, I wish I saw this earlier…better late than never!

        The “upgrade” is not as great as everyone’s making it out to be. Bynum allowed less points per play on post-ups. They’ve got similar PERs. Are we so sure that Bynum wouldn’t have put up similar, if not better numbers had he played in Orlando last year?

        I’m also pretty sure that Westbrook will do the same to Nash that he did to Sessions/Blake

        Finally, Perkins:Howard = Kryptonite:Superman (Thank you Simmons!)

        • Yes but that leaves Ibaka on Gasol and they can’t leave him open because Gasol is an offensive powerhouse. Which means Ibaka can’t roam, and that is a huge part of the Thunders defensive strategy (Ibakas roaming D / weakside blocks).

          Not saying LA has the better match up but I don’t feel it is clearly in either teams favour, especially since none of us have seen the Lakers new squad play yet.

    • It will top the near-makeout session Kobe had with Shannon Brown this year:

      http://nimg.sulekha.com/sports/thumbnailfull/kobe-bryant-shannon-brown-2012-1-11-1-21-28.jpg

      (Shame I can’t find the video.)

  3. It is 2012, the MLB has 30-ish teams, the NFL has 30-ish teams, and the NBA has 6.

    Lakers
    Celtics
    Heat
    Bulls
    Knicks
    Thunder (for now)

    Mr. Stern, isn’t it time for expansion?

    • Forgetting Spurs by accident?

      • Not one game on ABC, so no.

        • *EDIT* Just looked at TNT schedule…guess the league hasn’t forgotten about Spurs just yet, but give it a couple years (post-Duncan, Manu, and Parker) and no one outside of S.A. will know who is on that team either.

    • well, I know what you mean, it’s really does seem like the nba is/has become an elitist club, but since 1992 there have been 20 different teams to the finals in the NFL, the MLB and in the NBA (plus/minus one, I think it’s 19 for the nba and 21 for the MLB or so). so maybe there are some clubs who seem to be always on top, but that’s actually not the case over the long run. and as someone on twitter (which never lies) has pointed out, the new CBA will likely only have a real effect in the upcoming seasons, not where teams of superfriends are going to be extremely costly. which is excatly why teams try to construct those teams now while they still have the chance (don’t remember the details, sorry)

    • If you’re talking about quality of players, shouldn’t you replace the Celtics, Bulls (for this season) and maybe the Knicks with the Spurs, the Nets, and some other team?

  4. Dwight Howard could not hold Shaq’s jock-strap. Don’t kid yourself.

    • He doesn’t need to – he’s got a much better team around him. Put this team against the amazing 2001 Lakers team (the one that was merely the greatest playoff team anyone’s ever seen) and it’s an even matchup for them at worst. They’re not rolling out an aging Horace Grant and Rick Fox at the 3-4; they’re sending out Pau Gasol and World Peace, who’s pretty much a better, less sane, version of Fox.

  5. is jj redick poised to lead the 2013 magic in salary/scoring?

  6. I actually like the trade for pretty much everyone (except maybe orlando, but I don’t really care about them anyway). and even for the magic, compared to the brook lopez deal they had – “Lopez, Humphries (1 year, $9.6M), Brooks, 4 unprotected No. 1′s for Howard, JRich, Duhon, Clark” (Woj) – it’s not a disastrous deal. I mean, lopez is decent, but so is afflalo (although the former is probably more valuable since he’s a center… whatever). then both humphries and harrington would’ve given them maybe about the same net-production for one season, and both are going to be / would’ve been only there for one. so there’s a ton of cap space next year, which is what they are about. then you’ve got brooks, who is maybe an exciting prospect, vs vucevic, who should turn out to be really decent, and harkless, who’s an unknown quantity. plus some throwaway draftpicks, who are probably going to be traded away at some point. so for me, the main difference is brooks, if he can continue to improve. and still harkless could turn out just as good (well… maybe).
    ok so it’s not a genius move, but it’s not THAT bad either. I think the magic have some kind of non-terrible plan, and it doesn’t involve playing good basketball this season.

    for the other teams though, this trade is a near genius move.

    • ..although the nuggets obviously don’t like either shooting guards and/or the 3pt line, since their best shooter (aside from gallo, who decided against outside shooting last season) ist maybe wilson chandler? still, they’ve managed to make a weird and exciting team even more weird and exciting.

      the sixers have a really cool rotation now, although they lack point guards and really need evan turner to pan out.

      as for the lakers, well… that’s just ridiculous.

    • This “near genius move” requires the Magic to shit themselves repeatedly and then trade their guy for pennies on the dollar, passing up offers for nickels on the dollar and 50 cents on the dollar. Basically, a video-game-esque trade.

      So, great analysis. Thanks for that.

  7. Isn’t this the second A.I. Philly has sent to Denver?

  8. Salary info for 2012-13 season.
    Kobe Bryant LAL $27.9
    Dwight Howard (ETO) ORL $19.5
    Pau Gasol LAL $19.0
    +
    =
    66.4 million

    salary cap is 58.04 million

    this is not even with steve nash calculated in.

    Are we going to see a 4 man laker squad this year.

  9. “And it was written in the ancient scriptures that the Lakers shalt summon all hall of fame centers from Orlando unto themselves.”

    Nash, Howard, Jamison, Hill…perhaps the greatest off-season moves I’ve ever seen (collectively) in one summer.

  10. Dammit I’m so sick of the Lakers.

  11. Trades like this make me believe I could be a good NBA GM in that every time some other team called me up and asked me if I wanted to turn my dollar bill into a copule cents, I’d turn them down. I’d then call up other GMs and offer them a few pennies for their dollar bills. It seems to work.

  12. Regarding Lebron turning face: if US wins gold, absolutely.

    People obviously won’t completely forgive him but he’ll be in the Kobe space of “we know he sucks as a person but he’s so good” fandom.

    • “Turning face” is a thing? I thought that was a typo.

    • What ?? Sucks as a person!?!? What crime has he committed?? Has he cheated on his wife? Has he been caught drunk driving? Has he faced numerous scandals??

      How can you say Lebron sucks as a person when he is one of the nicest human beings in the basketball world? He builds schools for kids, gives back to the community and does a lot of charity work.

      If joining his friends in Miami and celebrating without winning yet counts as “sucking as a person”, then something’s just wrong.

      • Er…I think he was talking about Kobe there.

        • “but he’ll be in the Kobe space of “we know he sucks as a person but he’s so good” fandom.”

          He’s talking about Lebron being like Kobe.

      • “has he cheated on his wife” I’m gonna go out on a limb and say yes, at least once in his life.
        But anyways, he may not have done the type of bad things that Kobe has been accused of doing, but he comes across as unlikable.

  13. so should we just fast forward next years season and jump straight to LAKERS V HEAT final?

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