The NBA: The Dwightmare is OVER?

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With the 2012 London Olympics taking center stage in the last two weeks, the NBA has taken a backseat from occupying sports headlines and so did Dwight Howard trade rumors. USA basketball has been magnificent with LeBron James and Kevin Durant leading the way.

But tonight, Howard trade rumors surfaced on the eve of the USA basketball team playing against Argentina in a semifinals game on Friday afternoon. Nothing has been confirmed but according to ESPN, the Dwightmare is over. Howard has been traded or will be traded to the LA Lakers very soon.

The trade involves four teams: Dwight to the Lakers, Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets, Andrew Bynum And Jason Richardson to the Philly Sixers while Al Harrington, Arron Afflalo, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic are going to Orlando Magic. The Magic will also get protected 1st-round picks from the other teams. A protected pick means that the team who owns the pick will keep it if certain criterias are met or not met. For example, if the Nuggets get a lottery pick for the 2013 draft, they could keep the pick instead of giving the Magic the chance to use the pick. Exact details have not been relased regarding the draftt picks.

There's no question that the Lakers come out on top in this trade. They get Howard who is the best player and they only lost Bynum while managing to keep Gasol. The first versions of this deal had Gasol going to the Magic but for some reason unknown to all of us, the Magic preferred or settled with lesser players. Harrington is 32, and a decent bench player but his starter days are numbered. Afflalo is young and a decent starter while Harkness and Vucevic are raw players who may have potential. Becoming full-time starters or All-stars do not appear to be in their immediate futures.

Im baffled that the Magic went for this deal when they got so little in return. Even the draft picks are not unprotected and thus not guaranteed. The Magic had better deals from the Nets or Rockets before and rejected those. The new GM, Rob Hennigan, who is the youngest GM in the league must have some ultimate plan to make the Magic relevant again.. Or he simply botched this deal. I beleive the latter.

In contrast, the Nuggets got Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo GallInari and Timofey Mozgov for Carmelo Anthony in a trade with the NY Knicks last year. Three of these players are bonafide starters with Gallo blossoming into a potential all-star. Melo is not in the same class with Howard who is a top 5 player in the NBA yet the Magic did not get much. Why? They ended up without Howard, without Bynum and no Gasol. It was more sensible to have done a direct trade between Bynum and Dwight.

Man, the Lakers look unbeatable right now. They have Howard to anchor the defense and hide the defensive lapses that Nash and Kobe will provide. Offensively, he is a monster in the post and he can score from offensive rebounds plus he will make a killing from numerous alley-oops from Nash. Kobe can take more contested jumpers since Dwight is a better and more active rebounder than Bynum. Pick and rolls with Nash will be more effective since he is more agile and quicker to his feet than Bynum. Sure, he still lacks an outside shot and his freethrows are horrible but the Lakers have superior shooters in Nash and Kobe plus Gasol can hit the jumpers. Wait, they also have Jamison coming off the bench and it's rumored that Leandro Barbosa might join the Lakers after the Olympics. Yikes. 

Now, is it possible to hate the Lakers more than the Heat? 
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