Last updated: February 16. 2013 3:29PM - 201 Views

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LONDON — Dwight Howard got his wish: He's out of Orlando.


The All-Star center was traded Friday to the Los Angeles Lakers, the last act of his long, drawn-out departure from the Magic. It took four teams, 12 players, five draft picks and countless rounds of talks with different clubs to get done, but it finally was completed Friday after the NBA reviewed and approved the deal.


So after an offseason where the Magic fired coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith, now they're truly beginning anew. Howard is gone as well, the second time the franchise has lost a big-man star to the Lakers.


In 1996, the Magic watched Shaquille O'Neal sign as a free agent with the Lakers. At least this time, when they lost someone with the "Superman" nickname, they got something back.


"Well, it looks like Superman has found a home," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant wrote on his Facebook page.


A lot of players found new homes, including Andrew Bynum, sent by the Lakers to the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers sent Andre Iguodala — part of the U.S. Olympic team that won a semifinal game at the London Games on Friday — to the Denver Nuggets.


"I know my best basketball is ahead of me," Iguodala wrote on Twitter.


Orlando got guard Arron Afflalo and forward Al Harrington from Denver, forward Moe Harkless and center Nikola Vucevic from Philadelphia, and forward Josh McRoberts and guard Christian Eyenga from the Lakers. The Lakers got Howard, guard Chris Duhon and forward Earl Clark from Orlando. The Magic also traded guard Jason Richardson to Philadelphia.


Orlando also gets five draft picks over five years.


"A primary goal for our basketball team is to achieve sustainability while maintaining a long-term vision. We feel this deal puts us in a position to begin building in that direction," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. "In addition to the six players joining our team, we will be in a position to maximize our salary cap flexibility in the near future, as well as utilize the multiple draft picks we have acquired going forward."


The Lakers pulled off the deal and somehow kept Pau Gasol in the process — something many didn't expect when the Lakers first started getting mentioned in the Howard trade mix.


The trade was announced during the Spain-Russia semifinal matchup at the Olympics. Gasol scored 16 points, helping the Spanish team reach the gold medal game with a 67-59 win.


Afterward, that was secondary. He was still with the Lakers, and now has the game's most dominant big man alongside him.


"That's big news," Gasol said. "Huge. I've been involved in so many talks and so many rumors. I feel relieved. I'm anxious and excited to be back with our team."


The Magic said they were also getting a second-round draft pick from Denver next year, a first-round pick from either Denver or New York in 2014, a conditional first-round pick from Philadelphia and a conditional second-round pick from the Lakers in 2015, and a conditional first-round pick from the Lakers in 2017.


Howard averaged 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds in 54 regular-season games for Orlando last season. In eight seasons with the Magic, he averaged 18.4 points and 13.0 rebounds.


And he would figure to make the Lakers even more of a title contender.


The Western Conference is loaded — Oklahoma City is young, talented and likely to be driven after losing the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat, San Antonio was spectacular last season, the Los Angeles Clippers are rising, and the Nuggets could be much better with Iguodala.


But the Lakers have clearly loaded up to make a run at what would be Bryant's sixth title next season. Steve Nash was added from Phoenix to run the offense, and now they've got Howard to occupy the low post.


"Unreal!" Bryant wrote.


The Nuggets believe Iguodala is a good fit.


"It's not often you get the opportunity to improve your team by adding an All-Star player like Andre Iguodala," Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri said.


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