Months and months of speculation are finally over. The drama, rumors, and sources can finally rest as the Los Angeles Lakers have acquired Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic. At first Howard insisted he would only go to the Brooklyn Nets, then it was reported that he would make his way to Dallas; however, Los Angeles will be his home.
The Lakers have added a perennial MVP candidate and three-time Defensive Player of the Year in Howard. With Howard now roaming the paint, the Lakers have a great starting five with Howard, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol.
Los Angeles did give up Andrew Bynum, who will go to the 76ers, but brought back Howard in return. After speculation that they would lose Pau Gasol as well, it turns out the team will indeed keep the Spaniard and still acquire Howard, according to ESPN.
Sources tell ESPN trade also calls for Sixers to get Jason Richardson with Bynum, with Iguodala to Denver & Dwight, obviously, to Lakerland…
Other names bound to emerge. Example: Just heard Harkless to Magic. But deal being submitted for league approval Friday is indeed Pau-less
The Lakers are losing Bynum, who averaged 18.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game last season, while Howard put up 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds. Howard did not compete in the 2012 Playoffs due to a back injury, something he has been working on this off-season. Based on the numbers, creating a deal that would land Howard is a no-brainer for the Lakers’ front-office. Still, despite the fact that Howard averages more points than Bynum, the Lakers’ center is more polished offensively.
Bynum has more low-post moves and the Lakers can trust him to create something with the ball in his hands. Howard cannot do as much as Bynum can in an isolation play and relies more on penetration from guards to score points. Bynum has go-to moves he uses in order to scorer points, and not to mention Bynum’s free-throw percentage which is close to 20 percent higher than Howard’s.
Still, Howard is much more effective defensively than Bynum is. Howard is the best defender in the NBA and his individual accolades justify that. Howard is more athletic and a more dominant force in the paint than Bynum, something the Lakers cannot overlook. Bynum was drafted by the Lakers, and although the front office has gotten to love the young center, they could not pass up on the idea of Howard in a purple-and-gold jersey.
The deal has been submitted to the league office and is expected to be approved Friday morning.
Source: Lakers Nation