After Dwight Howard was almost dealt to the Nets for a package highlighted by Brook Lopez and first round picks, he was ultimately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Almost one year has passed since the trade was consummated on August10, 2012. After the trade was completing the Lakers were believed to be the favorites in the West. Besides the Magic, the 76ers and the Nuggets were thought of as winners by many experts and fans around the league. However, it has been a long year and many things have changed since this four team, eleven player deal a year ago.
Los Angeles Lakers
Obtained – Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, and Earl Clark
Gave – Andrew Bynum, Christian Eyenga, Josh McRoberts, and 2017 first round pick
2012 grade – A
2013 grade – D+
Currently, every player who the Lakers traded for last season has left their team for brighter pastures around the league. In short, the trade and the season was an absolute disaster for the Lakers. Besides for Dwight’s departure during the offseason, the Lakers had a horrible season, was swept during the first round, and Bryant tore his achilles. However, the trade would not have been an D+ if Howard and Clark re-signed. Although he did not have a great season, Howard is one of the best players and the best center in the league. The Lakers were also able to obtain Earl Clark, a solid bench contributor for a quality team. The Lakers gave up Andrew Bynum, which could be a bad decision. When healthy Bynum is the second best center in the league. However, he is rarely healthy, after missing all of last season with a degenerative knees. If Bynum turns around his career and reaches his potential with the Cavs, the trade will look even worse for the Lakers. If the Lakers do not sign a superstar during the next few off seasons, the 2017 first round pick could be very valuable. If Bynum reaches his potential and the 2017 pick is top ten, the trade will be considered an F and one of the worst in Lakers history.
Obtained – Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson
Gave – Andre Iguodala, Maurice Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, and a future first round pick
2012 grade – A
2013 grade – F
Many people believed that the 76ers were gaining the most in this trade. It is not easy to acquire a young talent big man, who has won a championship. After recording his best season of his young career, Bynum was traded to the 76ers. The Sixers only gave up an expiring contract in Andre Iguodala, Mo Harkless, a mid first round pick, Nikola Vucevic, unknown big man, and a future first round pick for the center piece of their future. Philadelphia believed they could build off of their 2012 postseason success because they had a talented point guard and center. However, every thing that could have gone wrong for the 76ers actually happened. Andrew Bynum did not play one game for the 76ers. He could not recover from his knee injury. During the offseason, Bynum left for the Cleveland Cavaliers, which solidified Philadelphia’s grade. Jason Richardson also had season ending surgery after a productive first half. Mo Harkless and Nikola Vucevic will be solid contributors for the Magic in the future. Harkless is a talented, athletic wing, who can score an play defense. Nikola had a break out season for the Magic, turning into a double-double machine. The first round pick will be good because they are in a full rebuilding stage like the Magic. Iguodala had a solid season for the Nuggets, but probably would have left during free agency.
Obtained – Andre Iguodala
Gave – Aaron Afflalo, Al Harrington, first and second round pick
2012 grade – B+
2013 grade – C+
When the Nuggets traded for Andre Iguodala, they thought he would either re-sign with them during the offseason or opt into his $14 million deal. However, Iguodala signed with the Golden State Warriors, who defeated the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. Unlike the other teams, the Nuggets had a good regular season and Iguodala produced as they believed he would produced. The Nuggets over exceeded expectations and reached the playoffs as the number three seed in the Western Conference. Although the Nuggets lost in the first round, Iguodala had a solid series. The Nuggets might have advanced in the playoffs, if Danilo Gallinari, there best offensive player, had not tore ACL. The Nuggets did not lose much in the trade. Afflalo is a nice player, but not a game changer, like Iguodala could have been with the Nuggets. The first round pick will probably be in the latter half of the draft. Many people believed that he would re-sign with the Nuggets until the Warriors swooped into the conversation and stole him through a sign and trade, so I cannot totally fault the Nuggets.
Obtained – Aaron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Christian Eyenga, Josh McRoberts, Mo Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, and three first round picks
Gave – Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Earl Clark, and Chris Duhon
2012 grade – C-
2013 grade – B
When the Magic traded Howard for a package built around Aaron Afflalo, I felt sad and confused as a Nets fan. Obviously biased, I believe the Magic could have received a deal that was 3 times better than the deal they actually received. If the Magic accepted the Nets’ deal, they would have obtained Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks, and three first round picks. The Magic would be able to unload themselves of their bad contracts, Hedo, Jason, Earl, and Chris. Although many believe that Lopez is soft and overrated, he averaged 19/7/2, which is impressive for any center in the league. Brooks is similar to Mo Harkless. However, the Magic were able to receive three first round picks and two young studs, who will help them succeed in the future. Howard was not going to re-sign in Orlando so they had to trade him. Since they traded Howard, JJ Redick was given more shots, which enabled him to have a breakout trade. The Magic was able to capitalize on his first half success and gained more young players. The Magic was the only team that improved their situation through the trade, which is a surprise to many people including myself. The Magic are the only team that actually kept the players they attained in the trade.
Stats and Pics from ESPN.com