As of August 10, it will be official that Dwight Howard has been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Now all Lakers fan can take a collective sigh of relief as the trade speculation is finally over with the future of the franchise secure in the hands of the league’s best center.
Not only can Lakers fans breathe easy now that Howard will be wearing purple and gold next season, but perhaps the best news outside of acquiring the superstar center is that the Lakers didn’t have to give Pau Gasol in order to pull it off according to ESPN’s Marc Stein via Twitter:
Other names bound to emerge. Example: Just heard Harkless to Magic. But deal being submitted for league approval Friday is indeed Pau-less
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 10, 2012
After the news broke about the four-team trade to acquire Howard, Gasol’s name surfaced in the trade proposal. The deal was reportedly supposed to send him to the Orlando Magic along with Arron Afflalo of the Denver Nuggets.
Many believed that adding Gasol may have been the only way to pull off the trade that would land Howard in Los Angeles accompanied by Jason Richardson or Al Harrington. After all four teams considered all options for the blockbuster deal, Gasol being sent to Orlando was no longer a necessity to make the trade happen.
Basically, the Lakers were able to make this four-team trade work by only giving up Andrew Bynum. So far, the only player from Los Angeles headed elsewhere is Bynum. The All-Star center will head to the Philadelphia 76ers.
More players will almost certainly be involved in this deal with the Lakers potentially sending and receiving others. It remains uncertain at this point in time which players will be coming and going besides Howard and Bynum.
Regardless of the other unnamed players that might be dealt by the Lakers on Friday, Pau Gasol definitely isn’t one of them.