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10 Years Later, Magic Still Big Winners of Dwight Howard Trade

It's been a decade since one of the biggest trades in franchise history.

ORLANDO - On this day 10 years ago, the Orlando Magic took part in one of the wackiest trades in NBA history.

In a four-team blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets, the Magic hit the reset button and traded former No. 1 overall pick Dwight Howard to LA.

With Howard occupying the center role alongside Kobe Bryant with the Lakers, Andrew Bynum quickly became expendable in Los Angeles, so he was dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers. In order to acquire the star center, the Sixers shipped out former All-Star Andre Iguodala to the Nuggets.

For starting the wild domino effect, all three teams acquiring stars helped out the Magic by sending prospects and a future first-round pick.

Here's a look at what the final trade looked like ...

Philadelphia 76ers receive: Andrew Bynum (LAL), Jason Richardson (ORL)

Denver Nuggets receive: Andre Iguodala (PHI)

Los Angeles Lakers receive: Dwight Howard (ORL)

Orlando Magic receive: Al Harrington (DEN), Arron Afflalo (DEN), Moe Harkless (PHI), Nikola Vucevic (PHI), three lottery-protected first-round picks (one from LAL, DEN, PHI)

And here's a look at how the trade worked out for each team ...

Philadelphia 76ers

Bynum's career went right off a cliff after being traded to the 76ers. After his best season yet in 2011-12 where he averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds, Bynum suffered a knee injury that held him out for the entire 2012-13 season and he never played a game for the franchise. After 26 appearances the following year for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, he never played a game in the NBA again.

Richardson suffered a knee injury of his own that limited him to 33 games in his first season in Philly. He sat out the entire 2013-14 season and played just 19 games in 2014-15 before retiring from the NBA.

By parting ways with the team's last two first-round picks and surrendering an All-Star to get virtually zero production, the Sixers wish they had this trade back.

Grade: F

Denver Nuggets

While parting ways with Arron Afflalo was tough, Iguodala was an upgrade in the lineup and he averaged 13 points per game. His efforts helped lead the Nuggets to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, but the team was upset by Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the first round.

That offseason, Iguodala would go on to join the Warriors, where he was a key figure on a team that won three of the next six championships.

So while the production was there during Iggy's tenure, not re-signing him that offseason brings down the grade for the Nuggets.

Grade: C-

Los Angeles Lakers

This trade could not have gone any worse for the Lakers. While parting with Andrew Bynum proved to be the right decision in hindsight, Howard underperformed immensely. As a title favorite going into the season, the Lakers floundered and finished with the 7th-best record in the West, ultimately leading to a first round loss at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.

The Lakers failed to sign Howard long term and he jetted off to the Houston Rockets following the season, sending Los Angeles into a rebuild.

Grade: F

Orlando Magic

Although the Magic was named a loser in this trade after it happened, Orlando comes out as the biggest winner. In a trade highlighted with big names like Howard, Iguodala and Bynum, Nikola Vucevic ended up bringing the most impact.

Vucevic had the opportunity for minutes on a rebuilding Magic team, and he grew into the franchise centerpiece over parts of nine seasons with Orlando.

Despite seven straight losing seasons, Vucevic eventually helped the team return to the playoffs in 2019, and he ascended towards All-Star status. So yes, every team got an All-Star in this trade.

By 2020-21, Vucevic was named to the All-Star team again. However, the direction of the team was changing, forcing the Magic to trade the franchise cornerstone to the Chicago Bulls.

The Vucevic trade to Chicago has set Orlando on its current path towards building the team. Wendell Carter Jr. was acquired in the deal, and the team used its first of two future first-round picks from Chicago to draft Franz Wagner, who was named to the All-Rookie First Team last season.

The Magic still have a first-round pick from the Bulls to use in next year's draft, which is expected to be one of the deepest draft classes in recent memory.

It's impossible to grade the Magic on this deal, because we still don't know what the benefits will come of it. However, we can declare the Magic the winners of this trade because the team is still benefitting from a deal that took place a decade ago.