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Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic slam dunks over Kobe Bryant #24 and Trevor Ariza #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Three of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 9, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.
It took a while, and it won't be finalized until at least Friday, but the Los Angeles Lakers have aquired All-Star big man Dwight Howard in a four-team trade. And the best part, if you're a Laker fan, is the purple-and-gold didn't have to deal away Pau Gasol.
ESPN.com and the L.A. Times are reporting the Lakers will receive Howard from Orlando, the Denver Nuggets will get guard Andre Iguodala from Philadephia, the 76ers will receive Andrew Bynum from the Lakers and Jason Richardson from Orlando.
Meanwhile, the Magic will get Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington from Denver and Nikola Vucevic and No. 1 draft pick Moe Harkless from the 76ers. L.A., Philadelphia, and Denver will also be sending Orlando protected first-round draft picks, according to various sources.
Blockbuster trades for big men is an LA Laker tradition.
Former Laker owner Jack Kent Cooke began the trend with a deal to acquire legendary center Wilt Chamberlain from the 76ers in 1968. Seven years later, he traded for Milwaukee Bucks superstar center and former UCLA Bruin Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Former Lakers general manager Jerry West continued the tradition in 1996 with a trade to bring Orlando Magic star Shaquille O'Neal to Los Angeles.
West's protege and successor Mitch Kupchak turned a stunning deal of his own in the middle of the NBA's 2007-08 season that brought power forward Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Lakers.
Each deal - from Chamberlain to Abdul-Jabbar to O'Neal to Gasol - eventually led to an NBA title. The Lakers have never won a championship in Los Angeles without a big man who been acquired in a blockbuster trade.
One of the best parts about today's news is Gasol didn't need to be involved for the team to obtain Howard.
The NBA has a conference call planned for tomorrow between the four teams. Afterwards the league needs to approve the complex deal for it to become official.
According to the Associated Press, "ESPN first reported the deal was in place. The Los Angeles Times, citing unidentified NBA executives, later confirmed the trade. The Denver Post confirmed the Nuggets' end of the deal, and Yahoo! Sports also confirmed the trade, both citing unidentified sources."