Lakers win Howard sweepstakes

Orlando settles for fourth place in four-team trade for All-Star center

Updated: August 10, 2012, 2:58 PM ET
By J.A. Adande | ESPN.com

It might sound counterintuitive, but the latest round of star consolidation expanded the NBA landscape rather than shrunk it.

Put it this way: When the confetti dropped at the end of the NBA Finals in June, did you think anything could get in the way of a Heat-Thunder rematch in 2013?

Now, after an offseason haul that brought Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, the Lakers could very much obstruct it and add a host of storylines, potentially putting Nash into his first Finals, pitting Kobe ...

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