Our long national Dwightmare has come to a close. That is the good news. The bad news is that the Cavaliers were clearly trying to be proactive and go after Andrew Bynum, and were not able to pull it off. The trade, as it is being reported now by Adrian Wojnarowski, sends Dwight Howard to the Lakers, Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson to Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala to Denver, and Arron Afflalo, Nikola Vucevic, Al Harrington and three protected first round picks to Orlando.
This trade is unfortunate for a few reasons. For one, Cavaliers fans had been hoping that either or both of Iguodala or Bynum would come to Cleveland at some point. That now seems unlikely. It also makes Philadelphia, Denver, and Los Angeles better basketball teams, and leaves the Cavaliers further behind. I actually think Iguodala going to Denver will allow them to compete with LA and Oklahoma City next year. They still need a guy they can count on for offense, but they are efficient and just added a great defensive wing to help them guard Durant.
Probasketballdraft reported last night that the Cavaliers still had an offer out to Orlando that would have brought Bynum to Cleveland, and that Cleveland still thought they had a chance. It really wouldn't have been too difficult for the Cavaliers to have made a better offer than the one the Magic ultimately accepted, and that, along with whatever Houston's offer was, will leave a lot of NBA fans scratching their heads. Orlando didn't get much cap relief, though they did part with Jason Richardson, and none of the first round picks they will receive are likely to be in the top half of the draft. Vucevic and Afflalo are nice players, I suppose. But the Cavaliers could have (and probably did) offer Varejao, our 2013 first round pick, unprotected, the Sacramento pick, and the Heat's 2015 pick, and took on Turkoglu's deal. Better first round picks, a better player, and more salary cap relief. Houston could have offered something similar. We also could have sent Gibson or Walton, valuable expiring contracts.
I said all along I thought the Cavaliers were as likely as anyone to be a part of this deal. Looking at the deal Orlando accepted, I am pretty frustrated that we weren't. The Cavaliers either were denied a chance to really improve the team, or didn't offer enough to really improve the team. Irving and Bynum would have been really fun. One bright spot to note is that the Cavaliers have Orlando's 2013 and 2014 second round draft picks. Orlando is now going to be really bad at basketball. So those picks won't be so bad.