The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired 26-year old center Dwight Howard, 24-year old power forward Earl Clark and 29-year old point guard Chris Duhon in this huge deal. It also involved the Nuggets and Sixers. As part of this deal, the Lakers have dealt 24-year old center Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers and 25-year old power forward Josh McRoberts and 23-year old small forward Christian Eyenga to the Orlando Magic. The Lakers are also sending a lottery protected first round pick in 2017 and a conditional second round pick in 2015 to the Magic.
In 26-year old center Dwight Howard, the Lakers get the best player at his position in the NBA. Howard is a force at both ends of the court and he seems to just get better every year. Howard played in 54 games (all starts) for the Magic last year 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. He has now played in 621 games (620 starts) in his first 8 years in the NBA and he is averaging 36.2 minutes, 18.4 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steal and 2.2 blocked shots per game. Howard will really improve the Lakers defensively and he will likely score more too with Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant feeding him in the low post. 24-year old Earl Clark will likely be at least #3 in line at power forward for the Lakers in 2012. He 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. Clark has now played in 138 games (1 start) in his first three years in the NBA and he has averaged 10.2 minutes, 3.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.3 assists per game. Chris Duhon will likely be the Lakers’ 3rd team point guard in 2012-13, behind Steve Nash and Steve Blake. 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 560 games (310 starts) in his first 8 years in the NBA and he is averaging 26.3 minutes, 6.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.
24-year old center Andrew Bynum is on to Philly. He played in 60 games (all starts) for the Lakers last year and he averaged 35.2 minutes, 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.9 blocked shots per game. Bynum played in 392 games (300 starts) in his seven years with the Lakers and he averaged 26.0 minutes, 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 blocked shots per game. Bynum is #5 in Lakers’ history in blocked shots with 628 of them. Bynum has a huge upside, but his attitude got him into trouble as he often didn’t listen to his coach. 25-year old forward Josh McRoberts played in 50 games (6 starts) for the Lakers last year and he averaged 14.4 minutes, 2.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game. 23-year old small forward Christian Eyenga played in only 1 game for the Lakers last year playing 19 minutes in which he scored 8 points, snagged 2 rebounds, dished out 1 assist and he blocked 1 shot.
This was quite a risk with quite a reward for the Lakers. Adding Dwight Howard to an already loaded Lakers’ team makes them better for this year, but, he has not said that he will re-sign with them after this year. If the Lakers re-sign Howard, this was a great deal. If he’s a 1-year rental, they gave up too much in a developing Andrew Bynum.