The Official Dubsism Breakdown of the Dwight Howard Trade

11 08 2012

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 24 hours, you know that Dwight Howard is a now a Los Angeles Laker thanks to a monstrous, four team deal involving both players and draft picks. This was such a complex deal which obviously took so much time to construct that we here at Dubsism took some time to deconstruct it so you can try to make some sense of this tectonic shift in the basketball world.

The Teams Involved:

  • Denver Nuggets
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Orlando Magic
  • Philadelphia 76ers

The Basics of the Trade: (from Yahoo! Sports)

  • The Denver Nuggets got G/F Andre Iguodala from the 76ers. They gave up SG Arron Afflalo,  PF Al Harrington, and a 2013 second-round pick and the lower of their two 2014 first-round picks (extra pick via New York Knicks).
  • The Los Angeles Lakers got C Dwight Howard,  SG Chris Duhon, and SF Earl Clark from the Magic. They gave up C Andrew Bynum, F/C Josh McRoberts,  SF Christian Eyenga, a conditional 2013 first-round pick, a conditional 2015 second-round pick, and a protected first-round pick in 2017.
  • The Orlando Magic got SG Arron Afflalo,  PF Al Harrington, a 2013 second-round pick, and the lower of two 2014 first-round picks from the Nuggets; F/C Josh McRoberts,  SF Christian Eyenga, a conditional 2013 first-round pick, a conditional 2015 second-round pick, and a protected first-round pick in 2017 from the Lakers; C Nicola Vucevic, SF Moe Harkless, and a protected 2013 first-round pick from the 76ers.  They gave up  C Dwight Howard,  SG Chris Duhon, SG Jason Richardson, and SF Earl Clark.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers got C Andrew Bynum from the Lakers and SG Jason Richardson from the Magic. They gave up G/F Andre Iguodala, C Nicola Vucevic, SF Moe Harkless, and a protected 2013 first-round pick.

A Team-By-Team Breakdown Of The Trade:

Denver Nuggets:

The Nuggets clearly got better, but did they get good enough? The addition of 6’6″ swingman Iguodala adds a lot of flexibility which Danilo Gallinari does not.  Despite being 6’10″, Gallinari’s game really isn’t suited to fill in for the departed Al Harrington at the the power forward spot, and Igoudala’s best position is small forward. The Nuggets’ back court is pre-loaded with the likes of Andre Miller and Ty Lawson, so it seems the 3-spot is the best fit for Igoudala. This very well could mean the big-price Gallinari could be on his way to the bench or on next the train out of town.

At the smaller end of that swing, Igoudala is a clear upgrade over Arron Afflalo, but as I’ve already mentioned, Denver has plenty of talent in the back-court.  At the end of the day, the Nuggets improved, but probably not enough to move up significantly in the Western Conference food-chain.

Los Angeles Lakers:

If you are a Laker fan (like me), there are thing you have to love about this trade:

  • You got one of the best centers in the league (duh)
  • You got rid of Andrew Bynum in the process
  • You didn’t have to give up Pau Gasol in this deal (Yeah, it’s been really fashionable to beat on him ever since the Mavericks series in 2011, but even after this trade he is still a crucial cog in the Laker machine)
  • You got out from under the stupid contracts of Josh McRoberts and Christian Eyenga
  • You didn’t have to take any of those Magic scrubs you know they wanted to unload (Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu, I’m looking at you…)

Then, there’s the things you don’t like:

  • This deal still leaves the Lakers with a thin bench, especially when it comes to the front court
  • Howard may not be ready for the start of the season – nobody seems to be worried about his surgically-repaired back.  Howard’s back may be the NBA equivalent of Peyton Manning’s neck.

Finally, there’s the stuff nobody’s really taking about yet:

  • How this will affect Kobe “The Sacred Cow” Bryant?

A big (but likely not the only) reason Pau Gasol didn’t end up as part of this deal is that Kobe Bryant made it clear he did not want Gasol to be traded. It is a bit curious why he waited until after Gasol had in fact been traded once and rumored to be on the block. Perhaps it is because he thinks that a Gasol-Steve Nash pairing could be a foreign-born Stockton/Malone-type tandem; meaning that for the Lakers to score Kobe doesn’t have to take 50 shots a night anymore.

Consider this for a moment.  Remember when Bryant made that comment about “if Howard were a Laker, he’d be the third scoring option?” Last season, Andrew Bynum averaged just 13.3 field-goal attempts per game while Howard only averaged 13.4. Granted, some of that has to do with the quality of the supporting cast, but don’t forget these numbers came as result of Howard being Orlando’s first scoring option, while Bynum was the third offensive option for the Lakers.

  • Could Kobe and Howard power the Lakers with (gasp) defense?

Let’s be honest. With the exception of the Dennis Rodman years, traditional Laker basketball has been about guards, dominant offensive centers, and the occasional fast-break. While that could easily be the case with this incarnation, it is quite possible the Lakers employ a more defense-centered approach.

Bryant is usually a lock to make the NBA All-Defensive first or second team on a yearly basis.  Now patrolling the yellow paint at the Staples center will be Howard, who just happens to be a three-time Defensive Player of the Year.  Does this mean Kobe will more more inclined to get in the face of jump-shooters knowing that even if he gets roasted off the dribble, Howard will be waiting behind him to digest anybody foolish enough to drive the lane? Does this mean Kobe will take more chances for steals for exactly the same reason?

The one thing that is not in question is that Dwight Howard is a tremendous upgrade in defense as compared to Andrew Bynum.  Even with his back issues,  he’s far more mobile and athletic, he’s a far better glass cleaner, and rejects more shots.

  • I’m still not sure what to think about the Lakers point guard situation.

I know Steve Nash is a big improvement offensively, but in the immortal words of Bart Scott,  Steve Nash couldn’t stop a nosebleed. That’s not even my big concern; that’s reserved for the fact Nash is another geriatric case who will need plenty of rest during the season, and the back-up for him is now Chris Duhon. To put it bluntly, to me Duhon is yet another one of those Duke players with a ton of potential we never seem to see realized.

  • The Million Dollar Question:

Did Pau Gasol escape being part of this trade because of Kobe’s demand or because there were no takers?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

Orlando Magic:

I almost don’t know where to start with this…

Let’s start with the positives…uhhh….hmmmm…

Ok, well at least the “Dwightmare” is over.  Now Magic fans can finally move on. To where is entirely another matter.

Here’s the bottom line. The Orlando Magic are a train wreck; they were before this trade and they are still after this trade.

Perhaps the strategy here is to build for the future.  C Nicola Vucevic certainly has potential to be come a force at the center position someday, and who knows what forward Moe Harkless could become.  They also scored a ton of draft picks in this deal.

The problem is still the present.  Not only did they not unload headaches like Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu, they took on a bunch of role-players with disproportionate contracts. All figures from Basketball-Reference.com.

Arron Afflalo:  Career Averages – 8.8 points per game, 0.8 assists per game, .466 field goal percentage, .800 free throw percentage, 2.7 rebounds per game

Signed December 19, 2011 for an assumed $36,750,000 plus incentives for 5 years.  2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16 each include $437,500 in likely incentives. 2015-16 is a Player Option.

Year-by-year salary breakdown:

  • 2012-13 $7,750,000
  • 2013-14 $7,750,000
  • 2014-15 $7,750,000
  • 2015-16  $7,937,500

Christian Eyenga: Career Averages – 6.3 points per game, 1.5 assists per game, .411 field goal percentage, .611 free throw percentage, 2.7 rebounds per game

Signed July 23, 2010. Team Option for 2012-13 was picked up on June 29, 2011.

Year-by-year salary breakdown:

  • 2012-13 $1,174,080
  • 2013-14  $2,119,214

Moe Harkless:  Rookie with no NBA history

Signed to a rookie contract with fully-guaranteed salary amounts.  The Magic hold team options  for 2014-15 at $1,887,840 and  2015-16 at $2,894,059.

Year-by-year salary breakdown:

  • 2012-13 $1,731,960
  • 2013-14 $1,809,840

Al Harrington: Career Averages – 13.8 points per game, 1.7 assists per game, .446 field goal percentage, .727 free throw percentage, 5.7 rebounds per game

Signed July 15, 2010 for an assumed $33,437,000 for 5 years. 2013-14 and 2014-15 are only 50% guaranteed.

Year-by-year salary breakdown:

  • 2012-13 $6,687,400
  • 2013-14 $7,148,600
  • 2014-15 $7,609,800

Josh McRoberts: Career Averages – 4.6 points per game, 1.3 assists per game, .517 field goal percentage, .680 free throw percentage, 3.7 rebounds per game

Signed December 13, 2011 for an assumed $6,135,000 for 2 years.

Year-by-year salary breakdown:

  • 2012-13 $3,135,000

Give or take, that’s $20.5 million for a lot of mediocre.

Philadelphia 76ers:

Clearly, the Sixers are willing to take the gamble that the Lakers aren’t; Andrew Bynum may yet be that dominant center around which you can build a franchise. Only time will tell.

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6 responses

11 08 2012
J-Dub

Reblogged this on Sports Blog Movement.

11 08 2012
Chris Ross

Of the 3 non-Laker teams involved, I think I like this most for the Sixers. They were going to be stuck in perennial mediocrity much like the Rockets were and now they can switch gears with a new face of the franchise. I don’t think Bynum has the mental makeup to take a team on his back but he can be a very, very good player and if they could find a star somehow, Bynum makes a fantastic sidekick type player. Doug Collins is a great coach and if he can’t find a way to get through to Bynum than no one can. If it doesn’t work out, they’re out of their rut.

11 08 2012
J-Dub

Just one thought. “If Doug Collins can’t get through to Bynum…” Don’t you think that if Phil Jackson couldn’t get through, Bynum might be a lost coause?

11 08 2012
ChrisHumpherys (@SportsChump)

What can I say that I haven’t already said in my ‘Orlando Magic laughing stock post’ and my ‘Orlando Magic dating profile post?’

Whoever is running that organization is a joke. The owner doesn’t give a shit and the people he hires have no clue to run a franchise. It’s been that way for a while but now it’s worse than ever.

This team, which was in the Finals only a few years ago, mind you, is now probably looking at a 20-win season if they’re lucky.

11 08 2012
J-Dub

I can hear the crowd now chanting “Turk-o-glu…Turk-o-glu” in the NBA Finals…

Damn, this bourbon is better than I thought…

12 08 2012
Blog Surface

The Lakers def. got what they wanted in this trade. You would’ve thought the Magic would’ve pushed to get legitimate “starters.” Instead, they received a bunch of players that could ride the bench. Sorry Orlando.

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