Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dollars & Sense - The Dwight Howard Saga Ends

The unthinkable has happened.  The dust is clearing.  The Dwight Howard saga is over!  Let us all rejoice! If anybody was able to keep count of how many days the whole “Dwightmare” lasted, then I commend you because I lost track about a year ago.

Unfortunately, Dwight Howard took advantage of sides of sports that the purists like to ignore.  He took advantage of power and greed, but more importantly he showed a side of immaturity and indecision that was magnified at a daily national level.

But the obsession is over now.  We can all sleep soundly; no longer checking Twitter on an hourly basis through the night solely to know the latest Dwight Howard trade rumor for talk around the water cooler the next morning. 

Late last week, trade rumors emerged about the 4-team deal that would send Dwight Howard to the Lakers.  Talks progressed quickly (and stole my thunder when I broke news about Samme Givens signing with a Dutch pro team on Philahoops).  By the time the dust cleared, the trade was bigger than anybody could have ever imagined.  Details:

Los Angeles Lakers Get – Dwight Howard (from Orlando)

Philadelphia 76ers Get – Andrew Bynum (from LA) and Jason Richardson (from Orlando)

Denver Nuggets Get – Andre Igoudala (from Philadelphia)

Orlando Magic Get – Arron Afflalo (from Denver), Al Harrington (from Denver), Nikola Vucevic (from Philadelphia), Moe Harkless (from Philadelphia), and future first round draft picks.

It is up for you to decide which team you think was the big winner of the deal.  I must say, as a Sixers fan and Philadelphia guy, I was not expecting the Sixers to be in on this.  In reality though, it’s just too early to tell.  For now, let’s break down this trade further to look at contract money given away and contract money taken on (2013 contract numbers are from

Los Angeles Lakers:
Give – Andrew Bynum ($16.1 million)
Get – Dwight Howard ($19.5 million)
Trade Difference – Lakers take on $3.4 million in salary.
Philadelphia 76ers:

Give – Andre Igoudala ($15.9 million) – Nikola Vucevic ($1.7 million) – Moe Harkless ($1.7 million)
Get – Andrew Bynum ($16.1 million)
Trade Difference – Sixers shed $3.2 million in salary.
Denver Nuggets:

Give – Arron Afflalo ($7.8 million) – Al Harrington ($6.7 million)
Get – Andrew Igoudala ($15.9 million)
Trade Difference – Denver take on $1.4 million in salary (but shed a good amount of long term money)

Orlando Magic:
Give – Dwight Howard ($19.5 million)
Get – Arron Afflalo ($7.8 million) – Al Harrington ($6.7 million) – Nikola Vucevic ($1.7 million) – Moe Harkless ($1.7 million)
Trade Difference – Magic shed $1.6 million in salary.

Nobody in the trade went for a huge salary dump and nobody took on an abnormal amount of salary.  The Magic seem to be looking to the future by taking on the young talents of Afflalo, Vucevic, Harkless, and a handful of future draft picks.  The Sixers were able to flip Igoudala’s inflated, expiring contract for Andrew Bynum’s potential to be a top big man in the NBA and willingness to resign with Philadelphia at the end of his current contract.  The Nuggets trade long term salary for short term salary, which could give them some flexibility down the road.  And the Lakers get Superman. 

Any trade needs time to determine whether the dollars make sense.  For now this trade is a blockbuster that was able to overshadow the US Men’s advancement to the Gold Medal game at the London 2012 Olympics.  The “Dwightmare” is over… For now at least.  Now we can start our days with updates on Dwight Howard’s back.  Oh joy.  Check back in 5 to 10 years to find out which teams won and which teams lost in this deal.  Everybody, enjoy the peace and quiet because the Dwight Howard soap opera is over.

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