LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers have finalized a deal to acquire all-star centre Dwight Howard in a 12-player, four-team deal, the National Basketball Association team announced on Friday.
The deal also sees Lakers centre Andrew Bynum go to the Philadelphia 76ers.
“A primary goal for our basketball team is to achieve sustainability while maintaining a long-term vision,” said Magic general manager Rob Hennigan.
“We feel this deal puts us in a position to begin building in that direction. In addition to the six players joining our team, we will be in a position to maximize our salary cap flexibility in the near future, as well as utilize the multiple draft picks we have acquired going forward.”
Besides Howard, the Lakers receive Chris Duhon and Earl Clark from Orlando while sending Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga and a future first round and second round draft pick to Orlando.
Orlando also shipped guard Jason Richardson to Philadelphia for centre Nikola Vucevic and first-round draft pick Moe Harkless, while also acquiring guard Arron Afflalo and forward Al Harrington from Denver.
The Nuggets picked up forward Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia and Bynum.
A total of five draft picks over the next five years will go to Orlando. The Magic will receive a second-round pick from Denver in 2013, a first-round pick from either Denver or New York in 2014, a conditional first-round pick from Philadelphia and the two conditional picks from the Lakers.
Howard is a five-time first team all-star and is the first player in NBA history to win three straight Defensive Player of the Year Awards, beginning in 2009.
Bynum was the Lakers 10th overall pick in the 2005 NBA entry draft. Last season, he averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.93 blocks.
“We’d like to thank Andrew for all he’s done for the team and the organization,” said Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak on Friday.
“Andrew has been with us since we drafted him at seventeen years old and over the last seven years we have watched him develop into an all-star player.
“He’s a special talent with a bright future. We appreciate all of his contributions and wish him well for the remainder of his career.
“We also appreciate the contributions that Josh and Christian made,” said Kupchak.
“Although they were only with us for a short period of time, they worked hard both on and off the court and were well respected by their teammates. We wish them the best of luck in the future.”
Bynum won two NBA titles with the Lakers but had recently fallen out of favour with some of teammates and the club’s fan base.
Howard was a member of the USA’s gold medal winning team at the Beijing Olympics. In 54 games last season, he averaged 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds and 2.15 blocked shots. His rebound total was a career best.
Howard helped Orlando make it to the 2009 NBA finals where they lost to the Lakers.
He asked for a trade in December and it looked like he might be headed elsewhere prior to the March NBA trade deadline but nothing happened.
He then had issues with head coach Stan Van Gundy that led to Van Gundy being fired in May.