It was 11 months ago when it appeared the Dwightmare was over following a blockbuster trade involving 4 teams, 12 players, and several draft picks. Here was the trade:
The Lakers received: Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, and Earl Clark
The Sixers received: Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson
The Nuggets received: Andre Iguodala
The Magic received: Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Christian Eyenga, Josh McRoberts, protected first round picks from the Lakers and Sixers, as well as a protected first rounder and a 2nd round pick from the Nuggets.
Eleven months ago the Lakers, Sixers, and Nuggets couldn’t have been happier with what occurred. LA got Dwight Howard who would finally be paired with a super-star player in Kobe Bryant. The Kobe-Dwight combination was going to be like the Kobe-Shaq combo from the early 2000s.
Philadelphia got a budding star in Andrew Bynum who was coming off a season where he averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. He was viewed as the 2nd best center in the NBA. With Bynum being grouped with Jrue Holliday and Evan Turner, the Sixers were built to make some serious noise in the Eastern Conference.
The Denver Nuggets had just stolen one of the most underrated stars in the game in Andre Iguodala for a protected first round pick and a couple of non-impact players. A teaming of Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, and Andre Iguodala led many to say the Nuggets were a dark horse team to come out of the Western Conference.
The Magic on the other hand, were viewed as not getting nearly enough for the best center in the NBA. Newly named GM and Emerson College alum Rob Hennigan apparently did the one thing he wasn’t supposed to do: Trade Howard without getting much in return.
Fast forward to July 2013 and take a look at what has happened. Dwight Howard had a miserable season in LA LA land and is now a member of the Houston Rockets. The Lakers got zilch in return. The Kobe-Dwight duo is over before it really started.
Andrew Bynum didn’t play one game in Philly and his future in the league is very questionable. Bynum’s point guard, Jrue Holliday is also gone after being traded to the Pelicans on draft night for Nerlens Noel. The Sixers look poised to finish at the bottom of the Eastern Conference this season.
Andre Iguodala had a good year for the Nuggets, but after Danilo Gallinari was lost for the season after tearing his ACL, Devner’s title aspirations took a severe hit. At the end of the season, the Nuggets fired George Karl, and Andre Iguodala just signed with the Golden State Warriors.
Now back to that Orland Magic team that just threw away a great player for nothing. Less than one year later, it turns out it was the Rob Hennigan led Orland Magic who actually won this trade. Nikola Vucevic was a rebounding machine this past season averaging 12 per game and becoming the 3rd player in team history to have a 30-point 20-rebound game.
Mo Harkless had a decent rookie campaign averaging over 8 points per game. He is only 20 years old. Aaron Afflalo had a career year scoring 7 more points per game than his career average. The Magic also have several first round picks, and are in a great position to be in contention for a top pick in the 2014 NBA draft headlined by Andrew Wiggins.
The futures of the Sixers and Lakers looked so bright. Now, both teams outlooks don’t look good at all.
The Nuggets did all they could to re-sign Iguodala, but ultimately failed. Denver still has a solid core, but aren’t serious threats to win the West.
The Magic, well their future is exciting. Who would have thunk it?