Dwightmare Over? Howard Four Team Trade Close to Complete [UPDATE]
After taking a bit of a hiatus, the Dwightmare has returned and, this time, it might be coming to an end for at least another year. This is because reports indicate that a four team trade to send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers is close to being completed.
The deal would involve the Magic and Lakers, with the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets joining in to make the trade work. In one version of the trade, the Lakers would receive Howard and Al Harrington, Orlando would receive Pau Gasol and guard Aaron Afflalo, Denver would get Andre Iguodala, and the Sixers would get Andrew Bynum.
In this trade scenario, it seems as it everyone would be a winner. The Magic would get comparable talent at the center spot and a useful guard to go with it, Los Angeles would have a contender straight away, Philly would find some size to replace Elton Brand and a young player to build around for many years, and the Nuggets would get a poor man's Carmelo Anthony. Okay, so one team doesn't win, but Iguodala is better than Harrington and Afflalo, in their defense.
It has been rumored that the Lakers are doing everything that they can to make this deal work without having to give up Pau Gasol but, if you're one of these teams involved in this trade, are you really going to let the Lakers trade for Howard and keep another elite big man? You'd be signing your own death certificate from a competitive standpoint, something that I don't expect any owner not named Donald Sterling to do.
I have mixed feelings about this deal, especially from the Lakers' perspective. Are the Lakers truly better with one great big man rather than two very good ones? What happens when he gets into foul trouble or teams intentionally foul him to take advantage of his abysmal free throw shooting or his surgically repaired back isn't as healthy as you'd like? There are a lot of question marks here for the Lakers but, when you have a fan base that expects to win now every single year, you tend to take these kinds of chances.
ESPN's Marc Stein tweeted that a trade call to the league office has been scheduled for tomorrow morning to process a trade. We will see who ends up being involved in the morning, given that David Stern doesn't squash another trade for the Lakers.
UPDATE (8/9/2012 11:57 P.M.): ESPN is reporting that Gasol will not be moved to Orlando, but Nikola Vucevic, one protected first round pick from each of the other three teams, and Sixers first round pick Moe Harkless will be going to the Magic instead of the original package discussed. I will keep you updated on any Dwightmare related happenings.