Lakers get: (C) Dwight Howard, (PF) Earl Clark, (PG) Chris Duhon
Nuggets get: (SG/SF) Andre Iguodala
76ers get: (C) Andrew Bynum, (SG) Jason Richardson
Magic get: (SG) Arron Afflalo, (PF) Al Harrington, (C) Nikola Vucevic, (G-F) Moe Harkless, 1 PROTECTED 1st-round pick from EACH of the other teams involved
Last night I got caught up in all the chaos on Twitter when the news of this trade broke, but I told myself to go to sleep because when I wake up in the morning Orlando will have come to its senses and put a stop to this ridiculous trade. Well here we are and this thing is still going down. All I have to say to the Magic front office are three simple words: What. The. Fuck.
I’m a big fan of Bill Simmons’ money scale when it comes to executing trades. Take a quick read of his value system and then wrap your head around this. Orlando is willing to turn Howard ($2), Duhon (.05₵), and Clark (.10₵) into Afflalo (.50₵), Harrington (.10₵), Vucevic (.10₵), Harkless (.25₵), and 3 NON-lottery 1st-round picks (.10₵ + .10₵ + .10₵). If you don’t feel like doing the math that means the Magic sent out $2.15 and got back $1.25 (I was also being generous with Harkless’ value because many thought Philly reached for him in the draft). Getting .50¢ on the dollar for a franchise player… that’s not just bad business, that’s terrible business. This trade isn’t even 100% official yet and it’s already going down as one of the dumbest trades in the history of sports. Now people are going to come out and say, “Wait Christian, they were in a no-win situation with a mega-star that publicly demanded to be expedited out of the Orlando area thereby killing all of their leverage.” Fair. Can’t argue with that logic. Except for the fact that Orlando had two MUCH better deals that they could have accepted.
The Nets’ package revolving around Lopez, Humphries, Brooks, and 4 unprotected 1st-round picks is significantly better. The Rockets’ willingness to trade SEVERAL young, quality assets and take on SEVERAL bad contracts in the process all for the chance to take a rental of Dwight was by far the best option (and I’ve been saying that for months). Houston GM Daryl Morey went all in this summer trying to acquire Howard and he should have succeeded. The fact that Orlando didn’t take that deal in a heartbeat shows that new Magic GM Rob Hennigan is just another Otis Smith. Luckily for Houston, their 1st-round draft picks this year: Terrance Jones, Jeremy Lamb, and Royce White, all had great Summer League stints and could be the core of the future for the Rockets.
Let’s focus on how this trade affects the teams that didn’t get totally shafted:
The Nuggets were big winners in both the short- and long-term. They unloaded an overvalued contract (Afflalo) and a REALLY overvalued contract (Harrington), in exchange for two years of Iguodala, who fits perfectly on a team that needed a lock-down wing defender as well as a player that thrives in transition which is how the Nuggets love to play. This trade makes the Nuggets a stronger contender in the West AND gives them enough room to sign a max player in the summer of 2014. Denver GM Masai Ujiri pulls off another great trade and shows why he has quickly become one of the best GM’s in the NBA.
People aren’t really talking about the 76ers, but this was quite a move for them. They got a top-3 center (albeit he comes with many red flags) in exchange for an aging all-star that never led them to the promised land. Richardson can still contribute he just has a shitty contract (and reportedly he was quite out of shape last season). This also sets the table for Evan Turner to replace Iguodala as their primary wing stopper, especially since Turner began to show flashes of his true potential towards the end of last year and in the playoffs. This Sixers team with a core of Holiday, Turner, Nick Young, Richardson, Dorell Wright, Young, Hawes, and Bynum is now well balanced on offense and still athletic on defense. Watch out for these Sixers, as I expect Doug Collins to push this team to their very promising potential.
Meanwhile, the Lakers traded a top-3 center who has a history of injury problems and is, by all accounts, a total head case for the 3rd-best player in the league AND the best big man in the league. This is what life is like in Lakerland. Things just ALWAYS work out for them. This is what makes them so easy to hate. They made a trade for a future hall of famer and gave up nothing (Nash) then pull off this coup at the expense of the woeful Magic. Needless to say the Lakers are now one of the best 3 teams in the league and anything short of a trip to the Finals will be viewed as an absolute failure. The only thing about them is that they have AT MOST a two-year window with this team. They don’t have the luxury to lose in their first year like the Heat did. Hottest seat on the planet right now? Mike Brown. If this team doesn’t win, he’s getting thrown under a parade of buses.
For the record, I still think the Thunder are better. Perkins now becomes a VITAL piece of OKC’s team (let’s not forget how much success he’s had at giving Howard problems in the past) and makes their decision-making when it comes to the Ibaka/Harden situation that much harder. One cannot forgot that the average age of the Lakers backcourt is 36 years. The Thunder’s is 23. If Kobe or MWP regress at all this year, they will not be able to handle the Thunder’s perimeter attack.
This trade has forever changed the landscape of the NBA and should make this season even more intriguing than the last, and honestly I did not think that was possible. Is it October 30th yet?