The biggest trade of the NBA off-season is in the books with the top two centers in the NBA changing teams and conferences while potentially changing the balance of power in the league in the process.
After acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic, the Los Angeles Lakers have built the newest combination of superstars in the league with the three-time Defensive Player of the Year paired with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash.
Although the Lakers have been dubbed the big winners in this blockbuster trade becoming perennial NBA title contenders for the duration of Kobe’s career in the league as a result, the Philadelphia 76ers have also vastly improved their roster with the addition of Andrew Bynum.
In this deal, the 76ers gave up arguably their best all-around player by sending Andre Igoudala to the Denver Nuggets. Despite giving up Igoudala, the 76ers received a promising player to build around moving forward. Bynum’s presence in Philadelphia instantly makes the 76rs a well-rounded squad with the ability to compete with the best of the best in the Eastern Conference.
76ers president Rod Thorn talked about the acquisition of Bynum and how the team was able to keep the proposed deal from leaking for three weeks via SportsRadioInterviews.com:
“It’s interesting in that we’ve been talking to the Lakers and to Orlando for the last three weeks. We’ve been talking about different deals, various deals, and it never got out. In today’s world that’s something of itself. And then it really came down to, Orlando — they did not want to keep Igoudala because they’re going in a different way. And they wanted to move him, and so they talked to a few teams and they ended up making the deal with Denver to move his contract, and that ended up making the deal. It took a while to do it but it ended up getting done.”
Being involved in Dwight Howard trade talks for three weeks without it leaking to the media in some form or another is an amazing feat with the way things work today in professional sports. The Howard saga has been the hottest topic in the NBA all summer long and throughout most of last season.
With the way things work these days, it’s hard to see any team in the future pulling off a game-changing blockbuster trade of this caliber without everyone knowing it’s going to happen. As a result of Philadelphia’s secrecy, the 76ers were able to make one of the biggest trades in franchise history and become a potential threat in the Eastern Conference for years to come.
There’s no telling whether or not Bynum will ultimately be a success away from Los Angeles, but the 76ers were willing to take the gamble and that may pay dividends in the near future.