Monday, August 13, 2012

Dwight Howard trade: Lakers show more commitment to winning

Dwight Howard

The moment he hung up the phone Thursday, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak stared across the room at Coach Mike Brown.

Kupchak had just ended a conference call with officials of the Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers, the final chapter of what Kupchak described as a "frustrating" process in pursuing Dwight Howard.

After all, the Magic spent over a year weighing every trade proposal imaginable, while Howard gave mixed signals on his intentions. Once that phone conversation ended, though, Howard became a Laker. Kupchak recalled the conversation with Brown:

"We have a deal," Kupchak said.

"Who are we getting?" Brown asked.

"Dwight Howard," Kupchak answered.

"Who's going out?" Brown asked.

"Andrew," Kupchak answered, referring to center Andrew Bynum, who will now play with the 76ers.

"That's all?" Brown asked.

"That's all," said Kupchak, though the trade also involved sending reserve forwards Josh McRoberts and Christian Eyenga and protected first-round and second-round picks to Orlando for forward Earl Clark and guard Chris Duhon.

Brown still struggled processing the news.

"No Pau?" Brown asked, in reference to Lakers forward Pau Gasol. After all, reports first indicated these talks would also include Gasol going to the Magic, and he had been the subject of endless trade speculation ever since the NBA nixed the Chris Paul deal, which would've sent Gasol to the Houston Rockets.

"No Pau," Kupchak said.


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