NBA: Lakers snap up Dwight Howard

The Los Angeles Lakers have completed a deal for six-time NBA All Star Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.

NBA News: Dwight Howard

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

In a complicated four-way trade that also saw Chris Duhon and Earl Clark move to the Staples Center, the Magic have picked up Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington from the Denver Nuggets, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic from the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as Josh Roberts and Christian Eyenga from the Lakers.

Orlando will also get a series of picks in the 2014, 2015 and 2017 drafts from the other three sides, while Denver picked up Andre Iguodala from the 76ers as their end of the bargain.

Philadelphia have received Andrew Bynum from the Lakers and Jason Richardson from the Magic as their part of the deal.

The Lakers' acquisition of Howard at a time when the United States are competing for gold at the London Olympic Games mirrors what happened back in the 1996, when Shaquille O'Neal left Orlando for Los Angeles.

The 26-year-old admitted he was still coming to terms with the fact that he will be playing for arguably the NBA's most famous team next season.

"It's kind of unreal," he told ESPN. "It finally happened. It's here.

"Just walking around upstairs and driving here - I'm really part of the Lakers. It hasn't really hit me yet, I'm just happy to be here and I'm going to make the best out of it."

Howard was presented on Friday in the Lakers' training facility surrounded by several retired jerseys of former greats, and general manager Mitch Kupchak had no doubts his new man could go on and emulate their feats.

"There's been a lot of speculation regarding Dwight being traded for the last six to eight to 10 months to a year," he said. "Today [Friday], the speculation finally comes to an end.

"And we're hopeful that 10 years from now, we can add a jersey to that wall over there that says Dwight Howard."

Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who is part of the US side gunning for Olympic gold in London, revealed he had already spoken to Howard since his move, and believes his new team-mate will be a real success.

"It's going to be sensational," the 33-year-old told News.com.au. "I talked to him this morning [Friday].

"He was happy to be out there. I told him LA is the perfect place for him. I'm excited for the Laker franchise because they have great player who can carry that franchise long after I'm gone.

"Look at all the great centres that have come to LA. He's the next in that line. It's a great organisation for him."

Apart from being a six-time All Star and six-time All-NBA team selection, Howard also won the Defensive Player of the Year from 2009 to 2011.



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