Sixers land Andrew Bynum in Howard Blockbuster: What it all means

Dwight Howard will be taking his talents to Hollywood and Andrew Bynum will be heading back to the East Coast to play for the Sixers.

The most drama-filled aspect of this NBA off season was the tumultuous situation brewing in Orlando. Dwight Howard ended the season dead-set on not returning to the team next season and made no secret of his desire to move on. The Brooklyn Nets emerged as the early suitor for his services and according to reports, they made substantial offers to do so. They were also Howard’s top choice and the only team he would commit to signing long term with. Eventually the Nets gave up their pursuit and the Rockets, Hawks, and Lakers all stepped up to the plate for the NBA’s premiere Center. In the end, Los Angeles won out and enter the Sixers.

The Lakers and Magic needed extra teams to facilitate this deal. The Lakers did not have enough pieces and picks to pull off a deal straight up for Howard. The Nuggets and Sixers became those teams and the agreed upon trade will drastically change the outlook of all four teams involved:

Nuggets Receive: Andre Iguodala

Sixers Receive: Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson

Lakers Receive: Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, and Chris Duhon

Magic Receive: Nikola Vucevic, Al Harrington, Aron Afflalo, Maurice Harkless, Protected 1st rounds picks from each team

Obviously Howard landing in L.A. is the biggest fish in this deal, but there are a myriad of story lines that make this one of the NBA’s most interesting blockbusters in a long time. The Sixers landed the star player that the fan base has been clamoring for since Allen Iverson was traded in 2006. The Nuggets cleared the way to acquire Iguodala, a versatile, do everything guy who will fit their up-tempo style. The Magic, according to early speculation, have dropped the ball on this deal. According to reports, there were clearly more lucrative offers on the table from other teams and some are blaming this debacle on the Magic’s new young GM Rob Hennigan.

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard helped Team USA win gold in 2008 and will look to bring a title to L.A.

From the Sixers perspective, they have finally taken the chance this fan base is looking for. Bynum comes to the Sixers and will undoubtedly be the best center in the Eastern Conference. He is 7’0, 285 lbs and gives the Sixers their best center since Moses Malone. Will Bynum come to the Sixers and have the same impact as Malone. That remains to be scene and it may indeed happen. The Sixers’ new center is just 24 years old and will team up with Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young to give the Sixers one of the youngest cores in the NBA. The Sixers did not have a player with the skill set of Bynum considering that he averaged nearly 19 points per game and was third in the NBA in rebounds (12 rpg). Bynum will give the Sixers a legitimate back to the basket center with All-Star ability and superstar potential. Could Bynum be a one-year rental? Perhaps, but Holiday, Turner, Young and head coach Doug Collins will have to prove to Bynum that he could be the center-piece of what they are building. He also is from 50 minutes outside of Philadelphia in Plainsboro, NJ and considering that he is already an NBA champion, he may be ready to sign long-term close to home.

Also, the Sixers have acquired Jason Richardson, a solid three point shooter and a player with a comparable contract to that of Jason Kapono a few seasons ago.

Andrew Bynum provides the Sixers with the post presence they have lacked. He averaged nearly 19 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks per game.

This move also speaks loudly about the Sixers’ front office and their new ownership group led by Joshua Harris and Adam Aron. They are all in. They have been incredibly smart this off season, acquiring contracts that will not hamper them long term. They have added shooters and rebounders which were their two biggest weaknesses a year ago. They have freed themselves from the shackles of the Iguodala and Brand contracts and now they have the talent and monetary flexibility to do some big things in the next few seasons.

Other Sixers story lines include the awkward fact that Doug Collins and Iguodala are both in London for the Olympics. Did Collins break the news to Iguodala? Also, the Sixers open up the season with the Nuggets coming to town and this is the second time in recent history that the Sixers have traded an “A.I” to Denver.

In the end, the Lakers get their man, but will swapping the 2nd best center for the first really put them over the top? And will he stay long term. The Nuggets acquire one of the best perimeter players in the game today and someone who can be the face of their team. The Magic essentially flopped and gave away the best big man in the game to get Vucevic, an unproven second year center, Afflalo, a decent player who is still yet to break out, Al Harrington, an older player on the down swing of his career, and Maurice Harkless who has yet to play an NBA game. They did manage to get a 1st rounder from each team but they are all protected.

Andre Iguodala has played eight seasons for the Sixers and is coming off a year where he became a first time all-star, hit game-winning free throws in playoff series and became an Olympian.

When you analyze this deal, the Sixers come away as winners. The fan base should thank Andre Iguodala for his service to the team and for what he was able to bring to the city in terms of Andrew Bynum.

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