Dwight Howard has officially been traded to the Lakers.
In a blockbuster four-team deal, Los Angeles acquires the best center in the NBA. Andrew Bynum is the only significant player L.A. had to move. Reports on Thursday suggested that Pau Gasol would be included in a potential deal, but the Lakers were able to hold onto their big man.
The Nuggets and 76ers helped the Magic and Lakers facilitate the deal that they have been working on for weeks. Denver receives Andrew Iguodala, while Philadelphia gets Bynum and Jason Richardson. The Lakers also acquire Earl Clark and Chris Duhon.
After turning down numerous offers, Orlando finally relented and pulled the trigger.
In exchange for Howard and Richardson, the Magic receive Aaron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moke Harkless, Christian Eyenga, Josh McRoberts and five draft picks. Orlando had insisted upon clearing cap space and receiving draft picks for their star player. Afflalo and Harrington have multiple years left on their deals, so it's possible one of them could be traded in the middle of the season.
While the Magic have just started the rebuilding process, the Lakers are ready to compete for an NBA title.
L.A. has made several moves this offseason to make themselves the frontrunners in the Western Conference. They made another blockbuster trade in July when they acquired Steve Nash, giving the Lakers their first star point guard since Magic Johnson.
Los Angeles also made a few key signings in free agency. They brought in Antawn Jamison for the veteran's minimum and re-signed Jordan Hill.
With all the trades and signings the Lakers have made, they are probably done making any major moves in the near future.
No high profile free agents will be wearing the purple and gold anytime soon. The Lakers are well over the salary cap, and will be in the same situation for the next couple of years. According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, L.A. will have $92 million committed to just six players in the 2013-14 season.
Nash came to Los Angeles in a sign-and-trade, but the Lakers won't be able to make a similar deal in the coming years because of the new CBA. Unless the team trades one of its stars soon, which isn't likely, the roster as currently constructed will remain largely the same.
With training camp approaching soon, the Lakers hope they have the pieces in place to return to the NBA Finals for the first time in three years.