ORLANDO FL - FEBRUARY 13: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic drives against Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at Amway Arena on February 13 2011 in Orlando Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this Photograph user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic completed a trade sending Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, pending league approval. But, what did the Magic really get in return for the best big man in the NBA?
In case you haven't heard, Howard is on his way to Los Angeles to join Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash while the Magic bring back Arron Afflalo and veteran forward Al Harrington, Philadelphia 76ers center Nikola Vucevic and rookie wing Maurice "Moe" Harkless and Lakers forward Christian Eyenga.
The Magic do rid themselves of Chris Duhon and Jason Richardson, but overall, this seems like a disaster for the Magic. The picks they'll be getting in return are lottery protected, so they aren't worth a whole lot. Plus, they didn't dump nearly as many contracts as they presumably wanted.
Instead of harping on what could have been (hello Houston), let's take a look at what the Magic did acquire.
Guard Arron Afflalo is 27 and has spent five years in the league. Afflalo had a fantastic season for the Nuggets last year, averaging a career-high 15.2 points per game. He shot 47.1% from the field and 39.8% from beyond the arc. Afflalo, 6'5, is also a solid defender. Afflalo is owed $7.75 in each of the next three years and has a player option worth $7,937, 500 for the 2015/16 season.
Forward Al Harrington was coveted by the Magic at one point and they tried to bring him in to play alongside Howard. Instead, the 14-year veteran was traded for him. Harrington, 32, put up 14.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game for the Nuggets last season. He shot 44.6% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc.
Nikola Vucevic has played one season in the league and is just 21 years old. Vucevic averaged 5.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in only 15.9 minutes per game for the 76ers last season. He's a legit seven-footer and is owed $1,179,480 next season. He also has reasonable team options for the two following seasons.
Maurice Harkless was the 15th overall pick in the draft. As a freshman, the 6'8 wing averaged 15.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He was named the Big East Newcomer of the Year. Harkless, as a rookie, clearly has a great contract.
Christian Eyenga is 23 and has spent two years in the league. The 6'7 wing, originally draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaged 2.4 points and 2.0 rebounds per game last season. He is scheduled to make $1,174,080, then has a team option.
Of course, Eyenga's involvement in the deal is unknown, but several outlets including Steve Kyler of Hoops World, believe he is headed to Orlando.
Throw in a couple of late first round picks and a few second rounders and that's the return the Magic got for the best center in basketball.