The Dwight Howard saga is officially over with the superstar center finally being traded by the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team deal sending Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers.
After months and months of speculation, the “Dwightmare” has come to an end with the Lakers coming out on top once again with a blockbuster trade that will almost certainly create a power shift in the Western Conference.
With arguably the league’s best center coming in to play alongside Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Lakers say goodbye to Bynum.
Back in 2005, the Lakers drafted Bynum with the 10th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.
Fresh out of high school, Bynum became the youngest player ever to play in the NBA at 17 years and 244 days. Bynum set the record being only 12 days younger than Jermaine O’Neal at the start of his career in the league with the Portland Trail Blazers.
With a tradition of dominant centers in Los Angeles, Bynum had a lot of pressure right out of the gate to become the future face of the franchise. Unfortunately, Bynum’s career with the Lakers got off to a rocky start with numerous knees injuries that plagued his early years in the City of Angels.
Despite the constant injury problems, Bynum showed signs of promise in the paint with a traditional style of play at the center position that hadn’t been seen in Los Angeles since Shaquille O’Neal in his prime.
After finally putting his knee problems behind him with his first healthy campaign in seven years, the up-and-coming center had a breakout season with the Lakers averaging career-highs across the board and earning his first All-Star appearance as the starting center for the Western Conference.
Bynum averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in his final season with the Lakers.
Although the Lakers decided to go with Howard in exchange for the rising star, Bynum will be remembered as a force in the middle for Los Angeles and will head to the Philadelphia 76ers as a two-time NBA champion as a result.
Lakers Nation wishes Andrew Bynum a bright future moving forward with the 76ers. Philadelphia struck gold with this trade as they bring in a player that will become arguably best center in the Eastern Conference for the foreseeable future.