Howard’s End is Magic for Lakers

Dwight Howard has escaped Disney World to find himself in DisneyLand.  While the details of a very complex series of trades have yet to be clarified, the end result is that the Magic have sent Howard – the defensive player of the year – to LA for a slew of players and draft picks. Howard has been somewhat notorious for playing the I-want-to-be-traded-but-would-sign-a-contract-to-finish-my-career-here card over the last couple of years so he got what he wanted even though he didn’t.

Howard;s stated desire to go to Brooklyn was nixed when they signed two max-contract players rendering the Nets unable to facilitate a sign-and-trade with the Magic. The Lakers were able facilitate Howard’s exit by hatching a deal involving four teams.  What is known is that Andrew Bynum is going to Philly, Andre Igoudala is going to Denver, and the Magic stand to receive three protected first-round picks and the contracts of Aaron Afflalo, Al Harrington and Nikola Vucevic .  More details of the multi-team trade will be forthcoming over the coming days.

With Howard at center the Lakers are immediate conference favorites.  The recent acquisition of Steve Nash puts an NBA All-Star all-star at every starting position and a multiple-MVP backcourt.  The starting rotation looks like Nash, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Howard.