So what if Zeke is a rookie? And they didn't draft him #4 overall, given that he's a prototype 3-down back, to have him in a timeshare with Morris or McFadden. Behind that line, coupled with his skills as a runner, receiver, and pass blocker, there's no way he should fall past the first round.
The Magic receive: SG-Aaron Afflalo, PF-Al Harrington, C-Nikola Vucevic, SF-Moe Harkless, protected first-round picks from L.A., Philadelphia, and Denver
The 76ers receieve: C-Andrew Bynum, SG-Jason Richardson
The Lakers receieve: G/F-Andre Iguodala
Why this makes sense for Los Angeles:
Everyone I hear talk about this deal keeps using the phrase, "the rich get richer" and that's absolutely the truth. Giving up Bynum, who is entering the final year of his deal, and a first-round pick for the best center in the game is a no brainer especially considering L.A. didn't have to include Pau Gasol in the trade. With Steve Nash and Howard, the Lakers get two All-Star players who help take some of the slack off Kobe Bryant while also re-establishing them among the elite teams in the NBA.
It also gives the Lakers the edge to re-sign Howard since the Dallas Mavericks figure to be their only real competition next summer. He likely won't be in a real rush to sign an extension right away, but once he gets a taste of playing in L.A. along with Kobe, Nash, and Gasol, he won't be in a real rush to get out of town either.
Why this makes sense for Orlando:
The Magic had to deal Howard before the season began. It just wasn't going to be a pretty situation if he was still on the roster come the start of the season since he openly stated that he wanted to be dealt.
What is baffling is how little Orlando got in return for Howard. To only get two quality players, Afflalo and Harrington, who are each under contract through 2015; a pair of young guys in Harkless and Vucevic, who don't project to be stars in the league; and three non-lottery picks is getting 25 cents on the dollar when there were seemingly better offers on the table.
So to recap, the Magic doesn't get any cap relief, great young talents, or valuable lottery picks for Howard. Orlando could easily become one of the worst teams in the league for the next couple of years unless there are other pieces involved in this deal that have not yet been mentioned.
Why this makes sense for Philadelphia:
The Sixers offloaded Iguodala who is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract since he has a player option on his contract for 2013-14, and acquired one of the best bigs in the league. Yes, Bynum is in the final year of his contract as well and will likely test the free agency waters this offseason before he signs an extension, but it is worth the risk for a Philadelphia team needing some better play inside.
Losing Iguodala isn't killer because the 76ers still has Evan Turner, Nick Young, Dorrell Wright and Richardson; all of whom are capable of producing on the wing. With this acquisition, Philadelphia could move into the top four in the Eastern Conference.
If Bynum doesn't end up re-signing with the 76ers, this could be a costly deal moving forward since they ultimately dealt their two most recent first-round picks and a future first-rounder - plus the team still owes Miami a first-round pick from the Arnett Moultrie trade.
Why this makes sense for Denver:
Depth has been the key for the Nuggets post-Carmelo Anthony trade, and this deal lands Denver one of the most versatile wings in the league for a pair of solid role players and future pick. The Nuggets have the depth up front to replace Harrington without missing a beat, and Iguodala is certainly an upgrade on the wing over Afflalo even though the former UCLA Bruin has really improved during the past couple of years.