In 2012, the Orlando Magic sent their star center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers in one of the craziest trades in NBA history, one that still has ramifications in the league today.
At the time, Howard was undoubtedly the best center in the league. The 6-foot-10 big man had just won three consecutive Defensive Player of the Years and was coming off a season where he averaged 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
The trade featured four different teams and 15 different players and draft picks. Let’s take a look at each player and draft pick that was traded in the blockbuster 2012 deal.
Lakers receive: Dwight Howard, Earl Clark and Chris Duhon
Dwight Howard’s first stint with the Lakers was a disappointment and the 2012 Lakers are known today as one of the biggest failed “superteams” in NBA history. The team would be swept in the first round of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs. Seven years later, Howard is now an important role player in his second stint as a Laker.
Duhon played 19.5 minutes per game for the Magic the year prior. However, the 2012-13 season would be the 6-foot-1 guard’s last, as Duhon averaged 2.9 points per game and shot less than 40 percent from the field.
Clark fared much better than Duhon and was actually a solid role player for LA. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged a career high 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the Lakers. Clark would then bounce around the league for a few years, but hasn’t played in the NBA since 2015
Philadelphia 76ers receive: Andrew Bynum (from Los Angeles) and Jason Richardson (from Orlando)
Bynum was an emerging star as a member of the Lakers. At only 24 years old, Bynum was one of the biggest parts of the trade. The young center was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Unfortunately, injuries and circumstances quickly derailed Bynum’s career. The seven-footer never ended up playing a game in Philly, was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and was out of the league by 2014.
Richardson was a star for the Golden State Warriors earlier in his career, but in 2012 a 32-year old Richardson had lost much of the athleticism that made him such an exciting player.
Denver Nuggets receive: Andre Iguodala (from Philadelphia)
Iguodala was one of the best all-around players in the NBA in 2012 and even made an All-Star game the season prior to the trade averaging 12.4 points, 5.5 assists and 6.1 rebounds.
Iggy’s one season in Denver didn’t work out and ended in turmoil. The former All-Star would then sign with the Golden State Warriors. Iguodala was an integral piece in the Warriors championship runs and even won Finals MVP in 2015.
Magic receive: Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, a 2013 second round pick that would turn out to be Romero Osby and a 2014 first round pick that would turn out to be Dario Saric (from Denver), Christian Eyenga, Josh McRoberts and a 2017 first round pick that would become second round picks Wesley Iwundu and Rodions Kurucs (from Los Angeles), Nikola Vucevic, Mo Harkless and a 2017 first round pick that would become De’Aron Fox (from Philadelphia)
Yes, that’s a ton to unpack as the Magic got a bunch of potential pieces back for their star center — some of whom would play for Orlando while some would not.
Afflalo would be the Magic’s best player for the next two seasons, averaging 16.5 and 18.2 points per game from 2012 to 2014. No longer on an NBA roster, Afflalo last played in the 2017-18 season.
Al Harrington in his prime was one of the best stretch fours in the NBA. Unfortunately, by this time, Harrington was 32 years old and only lasted two more seasons in the NBA.
Romero Osby would never step foot on an NBA floor and has been playing overseas.
Saric would never end up playing for the Magic, but has been a solid NBA talent, playing for Philadelphia, Minnesota and Phoenix, while averaging 12.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in his career so far.
Eyenga never played for the Magic and after his brief, two-year NBA career, he’s been playing professionally overseas.
McRoberts was never anything more than a backup big man in the league, but still managed to last 12 years in the league last playing in 2018
Iwundu is currently in his third season with the Magic, but is averaging just 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.
After a solid rookie year in 2018, Kurucs has fell down the rotation for the Brooklyn Nets.
Vucevic is the obvious best part of this trade for the Magic. The Swiss big man is entering his eighth season with the Magic and has developed into one of the best centers in the entire NBA.
Harkless showed some potential in Orlando, but was never able to take the next step. He is currently averaging 5.7 points in 23,2 minutes per game for the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Magic would eventually trade this pick back to the 76ers, who then traded it to the Kings. It’s just Fox’s third season in the league and from what we’ve seen so far, he has the potential to be a future star in this league.
Anyway, that’s a lot of moving parts for Dwight Howard.