Now that it is officially official, here are all the parts that moved in the Dwight Howard trade.
Denver Nuggets trade
2014 first-round pick
2013 second-round pick
Denver Nuggets receive
Los Angeles Lakers trade
2017 conditional first-round draft pick
2015 conditional second-round draft pick
Los Angeles Lakers receive
Orlando Magic trade
Orlando Magic receive
2014 first-round pick from Denver
2017 Conditional first-round pick from Los Angeles Lakers
Conditional first-round pick from Philadelphia
2013 second-round pick from Denver
2015 conditional second-round pick from Los Angeles Lakers
Philadelphia 76ers trade
Conditional first-round pick
Philadelphia 76ers receive
Phew. Got all that? All in all, 12 players and five draft picks changed hands in the Dwight Howard blockbuster that will change the landscape of the NBA for years to come.
There are so many angles to cover with this trade. For starters, every team did well in this trade except the team who traded Dwight Howard. The Magic wanted draft picks, and they got them, but none of them are lottery picks. The Magic wanted cap flexibility, but retained Hedo Turkoglu while taking on the contracts of Harrington and Afflalo leaving them not much flexibility for next summer. The Magic did get young players, though, although there are certainly questions as to their quality. Of the players the Magic got, the most interesting is Moe Harkless. I'm not sure if his season is that high, but he is a project, and he does have upside, although I think the Magic were probably better off dealing with Houston if they wanted the best young players they could get for Howard.
As for the Sixers, I mentioned Moe Harkless earlier as an interesting prospect that I would have liked to have seen develop, but acquiring Bynum is so worth it that I don't care.
Nik Vucevic is a back-up center on a good team with a low ceiling. In other words, he's a slightly better version of Spencer Hawes.
Andre Iguodala is an elite perimeter defender and a fantastic transition player, but the Sixers absolutely needed to trade him to get his salary off the books in order to institute a re-build. During his eight years in Philadelphia, he managed to join the Bobby Abreu Club of Criminally Under-appreciated Philadelphia Sports Athletes, an honor that is not as rare as you would think. Over the past year, it seems that the tide had finally begun to turn in favor of Iguodala in terms of the "Iggy sux he thinks he's Kobe!" narrative. He finally made the All-Star game, he hit "clutch" free throws to eliminate Chicago, and he will walk away from London as proud owner of an Olympic medal. The color of said medal is to be determined. Iggy's first game as a Nugget will be in the Wells Fargo Center against the 76ers. If he does not receive a standing ovation, a murdery feeling may come over me.
With Andrew Bynum, the Sixers now have easily the best center in the Eastern Conference and arguably the second best center in the NBA, behind only Dwight Howard. Elite NBA centers are rare. Elite NBA centers playing in Philadelphia are even rarer. With Andrew Bynum, the Sixers have an elite NBA center.
For the past decade, the 76ers have treaded water at a mediocre level, being nowhere near an NBA Championship and nowhere near bad enough to find a franchise altering player in the draft. With this one trade, though, that has changed. They won't contend for a championship, but the foundation is there. They may not be contenders now, but they are contenders to be contenders in the future, and that is a whole hell of a lot more than anyone could say for the Sixers since the peak of the Iverson era. The Sixers have the flexibility to offer Bynum a max contract, will finally be giving Jrue Holiday an athletic big to work with, and are perhaps a 2013 Paul Millsap signing away from being a legitimate championship contender in the Eastern Conference.
This is such a weird and unusual feeling. After years and years of pessimism and mediocrity, the Philadelphia 76ers have finally given me a reason to be optimistic.
Welcome to Philadelphia, Andrew Bynum. Here's to a return to relevancy for Sixers basketball.