- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Well, Nets fans, the "Dwightmare" is over.
Multiple sources told ESPN.com that Dwight Howard will become a Laker -- and, just like that, a new NBA superpower is born.
Here's how the four-team blockbuster trade breaks down:
Lakers get: D-12
Nuggets get: Andre Iguodala
76ers get: Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson
Magic get: Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, a protected first-rounder from each of the teams
The Nets had been trying to get Howard, dating back to last offseason. They tried, tried and tried again.
But in the end, it just didn't work out. The Magic never liked what the Nets were selling, and Howard blew his chance to go to Brooklyn when he gave up his early termination option.
Instead, he'll join fellow All-Stars Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash in L.A. Think about that.
Obviously, that team has to stay healthy -- but wow. What a foursome. Watch out, Miami.
The Nets were hopeful to put a foursome like that together featuring D-12, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace. But when it came down to it, the Magic clearly didn't want Brook Lopez (plus Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and four future No. 1 picks). They knew they weren't going to get dollar-for-dollar value for their superstar center, but they didn't even end up with an All-Star in this deal.
The Nets now have no chance at Howard. The Lakers aren't going to trade him by the deadline -- they are hopeful to re-sign him to a max deal -- and the Nets will be over the luxury tax apron, so they wouldn't be able to participate in a sign-and-trade deal by the time Howard becomes a free agent at season's end, assuming he still wanted to come to Brooklyn.
The Nets you see now may very well be the same Nets you'll be seeing for years to come: D-Will is signed for five years; Johnson, four; Lopez, four; and Wallace, four.
But does that team, as currently constituted, have enough talent to contend for a championship?
Are they even better than a Philadelphia team that sports a potential starting five of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes and Bynum?
What do you think? Do you think the Magic got a good deal? How do you feel about the "Dwightmare" being over?
Also, best (projected) starting five in the Atlantic Division? (Note, this isn't ranked).
2. Raymond Felton/J.R. Smith/Carmelo Anthony/Amare Stoudemire/Tyson Chandler
3. Rajon Rondo/Avery Bradley/Paul Pierce/Brandon Bass/Kevin Garnett
4dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann