Earlier this week, the Orlando Magic put an end to the “Dwightmare” and finally sent star center Dwight Howard to Los Angeles after months of trade demands and tension between the player and organization. The finalized trade involved a total of four teams, the Magic, Lakers, 76ers, and Nuggets. The trade culminated in the Lakers receiving Howard, the 76ers nabbing All-Star center Andrew Bynum and G/F Jason Richardson, Denver taking back G/F Andre Igoudala, and Orlando bringing back the haul of SG Arron Afflalo, PF Al Harrington, 2012 first-round pick SF Moe Harkless, 2011 first-round pick C Nikola Vuvecic, and three protected future first-round picks from the other three teams. Orlando, clearly looking to shoot low this season to get as high of a first-round pick as possible, passed up the opportunity of bringing back potentially both Igoudala and Bynum.
One of the most interesting parts about this trade is that Minnesota was not involved, despite being engaged in trade talks for Pau Gasol dating back to last summer. However, as Twincities.com reported, the Wolves were approached by Los Angeles to be apart of the deal and were even offered Andrew Bynum in the proposed trade. It has not been released as to who Minnesota would have needed to give up in order to return the 24-year-old 7-footer, but it is likely that the Wolves were asked to part ways with either Kevin Love or Ricky Rubio. David Kahn has reiterated that both players are untouchable, and apparently he was not tempted by the idea of taking back the second best center in the NBA.
Personally, I am very glad that the Timberwolves did not roll the dice on Bynum as he is perpetually being questioned for his work ethic and concentration, and has massive injury concerns despite being only 24 years old. Bynum has always been a guy considered to be one of the most physically and athletically gifted players in the NBA, but has still not been able to truly reach his potential. In his 7 years, he has played in only 392 games (558 possible) and has serious concerns over the health of his knees. So much, in fact, that he will be undergoing experimental knee surgery in Germany in the coming weeks. He is in the final year of his contract which will pay him roughly $16.5 million, and is reportedly unwilling to negotiate a contract extension that is anything short of maximum.
Photo Credits: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press