The last time the Denver Nuggets were involved in a blockbuster trade it involved getting rid of one of the best players in the NBA because he no longer had interest in being in Denver. This time there is a superstar in Orlando that wants out. Sorry Nuggets fans, Dwight Howard is not coming to Denver, but the Nuggets are involved in the trade that is about to send “Superman” to the Los Angeles Lakers and a solid player to the Mile High City.
A four-team trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers is complete, multiple sources told ESPN on Thursday night.
A source with direct knowledge of the talks told’s Marc Stein the Lakers will receive Howard, the Denver Nuggets will acquire Andre Iguodala, the 76ers will receive Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one protected future first-round pick from each of the three teams. In addition, the Magic will be getting other pieces, including 76ers No. 1 draft pick Moe Harkless, a source told Stein.
So for the Nuggets that means they lose two key pieces from last years playoff team in Harrington and Afflalo, but they get in return the Philadelpia 76′s best player in 6 foot 6 forward Andre Iguodala.
Last season, Iguodala averaged 12.4 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists. He is 28 years old and will likely start at shooting guard, along with starters Ty Lawson at point guard, Danilo Gallinari at small forward and Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee in the low post.
For the Nuggets, this trade wasn’t about scoring. This deep Denver team led the league in scoring last season. Yes, on paper, the Nuggets will lose some scoring, Afflalo averaged 15.2 points last season, while Harrington averaged 14.2. But with so many other options to put the ball in the basket, the Nuggets targeted Iggy to enhance the team’s perimeter rebounding and passing, in addition to his lockdown defense.
Coach George Karl often says the Nuggets’ offense functions the best when guards rebound and push the ball in transition. Iguodala averaged about double the rebounds that Afflalo did last season.
The deal will be questioned by some fans for a pair of reasons. For one, Denver essentially helped conference rival L.A. get better by getting involved in the trade.
But the Nuggets, it seems, saw this solely as an opportunity to better themselves – an opportunity they might not otherwise have had.