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Lakers acquire Howard from Magic
AFP
14:43 AEST Sat Aug 11 2012

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 Friday.

The deal also sees Lakers centre Andrew Bynum go to the Philadelphia 76ers.

"Dwight Howard accomplished tremendous success on and off the court during his eight years in Orlando," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said.

"We feel this deal puts us in a position to begin building. 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 Bynum and forward Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia.

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.

"Andrew has been with us since we drafted him at 17 years old, and over the last seven years we have watched him develop into an all-star player."

He praised Bynum as a "special talent with a bright future," saying the team also appreciated the contributions of McRoberts and Eyenga.

Bynum won two NBA titles with the Lakers but had recently fallen out of favour with some of his 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.

He helped Orlando make it to the 2009 NBA finals, where they lost to the Lakers.

Howard 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 concerns with head coach Stan Van Gundy that triggered his firing in May.

Iguodala is currently playing for the United States at the Olympics. He was chosen with the ninth overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2004 NBA entry draft.

In 615 games for Philadelphia, he averaged 15.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists.

"It's not often you get the opportunity to improve your team by adding an all-star player like Andre Iguodala," said Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri.


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