The Orlando Magic have finally dealt 26-year old center Dwight Howard…..to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a huge, four team deal also involving the 76ers and Nuggets. The Magic have also sent 24-year old power forward Earl Clark and 29-year old point guard Chris Duhon to the Lakers. The Magic have also dealt 31-year old shooting guard Jason Richardson to the 76ers as part of this deal. In return, the Magic are getting 26-year old shooting guard Arron Afflalo, 32-year old forward Al Harrington, a lottery protected 2014 first round pick and a 2nd round pick in 2013 from the Nuggets. The Magic are getting 19-year old rookie small forward Moe Harkless, 21-year old center Nikola Vucevic and a lottery protected pick in 2015 from the 76ers. The draft pick from the Sixers is top 14 protected in 2015 and 2016, top 11 protected in 2017, top 8 protected in 2018 and it reverts to tw0 second round picks if it gets all the way to 2019. From the Lakers, the Magic will get 25-year old power forward Josh McRoberts, 23-year old small forward Christian Eyenga, a lottery protected first round pick in 2017 and a conditional second round pick in 2015.
Arron Afflalo was the best player the Magic got back in this deal. He will likely start right away at shooting guard for them. Afflalo played in 62 games (all starts) for the Nuggets last year and he averaged 33.6 minutes, 15.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He has now played in 362 games (223 starts) in his first five years in the NBA and he is averaging 24.4 minutes, 8.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Afflalo has seen his scoring average go up in each of his first five years in the NBA, which is a trend the Magic hope continues. He is a good outside shooter too, hitting 40.5% from three point range so far in his NBA career. Al Harrington could also get big minutes for the Magic off the bench (if they don’t deal him before the 2012-13 season begins). Harrington played in 64 games (1 start) for the Nuggets last year and he averaged 27.5 minutes, 14.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He has now played in 937 games (445 starts) in his first 14 years in the NBA and he is averaging 29.2 minutes, 13.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Moe Harkless was a first round pick of the Sixers in last June’s NBA Draft. Harkless played in 32 games for St. John’s last year in which he averaged 36.1 minutes, 15.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocked shots per game. The Magic might take it a little slow with Harkless as he only played one year in college. Nikola Vucevic will challenge Gustavo Ayon for the starting center job in 2012-13. Vucevic played in 51 games (15 starts) as a rookie for the Sixers last year and he averaged 15.9 minutes, 5.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game. He has a nice upside. Josh McRoberts is a backup and nothing more. He played in 50 games (6 starts) for the Lakers last year in which he averaged 14.4 minutes, 2.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game. McRoberts has now played in 205 games (60 starts) in his first five years in the NBA and he has averaged 15.3 minutes, 4.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Christian Eyenga is a very energetic player, but he’s still raw offensively. He played in 7 games (0 starts) for the Lakers and Cavaliers last year in which he averaged 14.6 minutes, 2.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game. Eyenga has now played in 51 games (18 starts) in his first two years in the NBA and he has averaged 20.6 minutes, 6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game.
Dwight Howard can’t be replaced on the court for the Magic as he is the best center in the NBA. He played in 54 games (all starts) last year for the Magic and he averaged 38.3 minutes, 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.1 blocked shots per game. Howard played in 621 games (620 starts) in his 8 years with the Magic in which he averaged 36.2 minutes, 18.4 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steal and 2.2 blocked shots per game. Howard leaves the Magic as the franchise’s all-time leader in rebounds (8,072), blocked shots (1,344) and points scored (11,435). He is also #2 in games played (621), #10 in assists (935) and #4 in steals (626) in Magic history. Jason Richardson was pretty much a bust for the Magic, coming over from the Suns in the Marcin Gortat deal (the Magic could really use the Polish Hammer now) a year and a half ago. Richardson played in 54 games (all starts) for the Magic last year and he averaged 29.5 minutes, 11.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Richardson played in 109 games (all starts) in his two years with the Magic and he averaged 32.2 minutes, 12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals). Chris Duhon played in 63 games (9 starts) for the Magic last year and he averaged 19.5 minutes, 3.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He has now played in 114 games (14 starts) in his two years with the Magic and he averaged 17.5 minutes, 3.2 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Earl Clark played in 45 games (1 start) for the Magic last year and he averaged 12.4 minutes, 2.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game. He played in 78 games (1 start) in his two years with the Magic and he averaged 12.2 minutes, 3.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.3 assists per game.
The Magic got at least five draft picks and six players from the Magic for essentially Dwight Howard and a bunch of guys they didn’t mind dealing. It doesn’t seem like a massive haul, but, Arron Afflalo, Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless will be the first building blocks for the future along with the Magic’s first round pick of this year, forward Andrew Nicholson. I don’t think the Magic got enough in this deal, but at least Dwight Howard’s wasn’t allowed to walk while getting nothing in return.
UPDATE: (10/23/2012) – The Magic have waived Christian Eyenga.