It has been reported by several sources that the Orlando Magic have finally traded away their oft-complaining superstar Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. The four team blockbuster trade is expected to be finalized on Friday. The deal would send Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson to the 76ers while the Magic would receive Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, rookie swingman Moe Harkless and three first-round draft picks. The Lakers would receive Howard and the Denver Nuggets would acquire Andre Iguodala from the 76ers. Many Orlando Magic fans will be sad to see Howard go, but I’m sure management is happy to finally find a deal in which they could move the star center.
Dwight Howard was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the 2004 NBA draft as the number one overall draft pick. Howard was drafted directly out of high school and came into the league with high expectations heaped upon him by coaches and scouts. He was given several player of the year awards in high school, including the Gatorade National Player of the Year and the McDonald’s National High School Player of the Year honor. In some ways, Howard did not disappoint. In other ways, he most certainly did disappoint. In his very first NBA season, Howard averaged a double with 12 points per game and 10 rebounds per game. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and his future looked bright. However, Howard never really made the vast improvements that were necessary for him to achieve in order for the Orlando Magic to be a championship team. Howard’s athleticism is off the charts and he uses that athleticism very well. But he has yet to develop an effective low post game. His jump shot has been absolutely horrendous from the very first day he entered the league, and he has yet to improve it to any degree. He cannot make a free throw to save his life. Last season he shot below 50% from the free throw line. That is horrendous. There are guys in the league who could make over 50% with their eyes closed.
For all of those weaknesses, though, Howard has had a very successful NBA career. He is a 6 time NBA All-Star, 3 time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Slam Dunk champion in 2008 and he’s made the All-NBA First Team five times and the All-NBA Third Team once. He has led the Magic to the playoffs 5 times out of the 8 seasons he has been with the team, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2009, which they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games. He has managed to average 18 points and 13 rebounds per game for his career despite not having anything close to a polished offensive game. And he has the ability to completely change a game with his defense and rebounding. He has been a very good player in the NBA thus far, no doubt about it, but that is all he has been. The Orlando Magic needed more than just very good from Dwight Howard. The Orlando Magic needed Dwight Howard to be truly great; they needed him to be one of the greats. They needed him to commit to making major improvements in his game and to the Orlando Magic. It appears that Dwight Howard has been unable to do either, and the Magic are finally moving on to a future without him.
About the Author
Written by Madison Warfel
I graduated from Lancaster Bible College in the spring of 2012 with a bachelor's degree in Sports Management and Ministry. I am working to enter the field of sports journalism and plan to pursue a masters degree in sports journalism in the near future. Everything I have accomplished and will accomplish is only because of the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him I am nothing; all glory goes to our heavenly Father.