A fast-moving game of NBA chess has been playing out over the last few days, with players being moved from square to square in order to build what their owners hope will be the perfect team. The end game? Bringing Orlando Magic star center Dwight Howard to the Lakers, beefing up their already promising lineup and virtually guaranteeing a shot at the finals in 2013.
If approved by the league, the eight-player, four team maneuver would move Lakers center Andrew Bynum and Orlando Magic guard Jason Richardson to the Philadelphia 76’ers, 76’ers forward guard Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets and Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one other future first-round pick from each of the three teams to the Magic. Got all that?
The shuffle still has to be approved by the NBA, but all that’s expected to be settled today. Lakers owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak are betting that the combination of Howard, Kobe Bryant and the newly acquired Steve Nash will reinvigorate the team. The news has certainly given Lakers watchers something to high-five about. Let the games begin!
A. Martinez, KPCC contributor; former host of ESPN’s In the Zone
Arash Markazi, Sports Columnist, ESPNLA.com