Let's see. The Lakers upgraded from Bynum to Howard. The Nuggets upgraded from Afflalo to Iguodala. The Sixers upgraded from Iguodala to Bynum. The 4th team in the deal? The ones holding the most valuable and most coveted chip along with all the leverage, and all the time they need up until the trade deadline in Feb? They got:
Arron Afflalo? A solid SG starter, but not even top 5 at his position. (Howard is top 2. period.)
Al Harrington? washed-up, 32 year old, undersized PF, who likes to shoot jumpers.
Vujacic, Harkless? ha. hahaha.
3 draft picks, probably late 1st round. - Which means they'll get 1 or 2 role players in the end, if they're fortunate.
Wow, the Magic hit the jackpot.
WHAT THE HECK IS ORLANDO DOING? They could've just traded Howard to Denver for Afflalo, Harrington and junk. Is that rational? Does that even make sense? No, but that's fine. If that's what they want, then do THAT stupid deal. Why go and get other teams involved, eventually rewarding Howard's behavior by sending him to the Lakers? This deal wasn't even the best one they had one the table. They could've waited until a minute before the trading deadline for this garbage deal. Why do it now? Why settle for trash at all?
Howard, Bynum, Iguodala were the 3 best players in this trade - and Orlando ended up with NONE OF THEM.
They didn't even make the Lakers trade away Pau Gasol. Or shed Hedo Turkoglu's contract. Orlando, have you forgotten that Shaq walked away from you to go to the Lakers? You are the laughing-stock of the league.
And the freakin Lakers. Pau Gasol was handed to them on a silver platter for just about nothing (Kwame Brown, really?) a few years ago, resulting in 2 championships. Now the best big man in the game goes to LA, while LA rids themselves of their injury-riddled and entitled, Bynum. It may have been worth it even if Bynum was better than Howard. But he's not. Could it have worked out any better? You could not have dreamt up a better scenario.
I give up. Small-market teams just cannot compete. They can never get a free agent superstar or one who forces a sign and trade their way. Even a Duncan or Durant, who chooses to stay with a small-market team, will eventually retire, and their clubs will fall back to earth. Meanwhile the Lakers will simply reload. Shaq leaves? You've got Kobe. When Kobe leaves? You've got Dwight. Oh, and in the meantime, here's Steve Nash and Pau Gasol to help you along the way. ugh.
I will say this. Kobe will never have an argument that he is better than Jordan. He is once more no longer the most valuable player on his team. Jordan was the most valuable player in all 6 championships. But Shaq was the most valuable in Kobe's first 3 championships, and now Howard is the most dominant piece on this team. Oh and Kobe doesn't even have the most regular season MVPs on the team. Nash has 2 to Kobe's 1. Even if they win, and they have zero excuses why they shouldn't, Kobe's 6th title won't have been won on his shoulders, just as the first 3 weren't.
All I have left to say is: Go Miami! LeBron remains the best player in the world, and he may be the only one who can stop them.