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Dwight Howard says he's "very excited" to start the next phase of his NBA career in Los Angeles. While speaking with NBC4’s Mario Solis, Howard did his impression of new teammate Kobe Bryant welcoming him to Southern California.
The Lakers continued their summer of all-star acquisitions Friday when they announced the completion of a four-team deal that brings forward Dwight Howard to Los Angeles from Orlando and sends Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia.
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak confirmed Friday that the Lakers acquired Howard in the complicated deal involving the Lakers, Philadelphia, the Magic and Denver. The Lakers acquired Howard, guard Chris Duhon and forward Earl Clark from Orlando.
The Howard acquisition comes on the heels of LA's deal with Phoenix for All-Star guard Steve Nash. LA will lose Bynum to Philadelphia, but can now team Howard -- he averaged 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds last season -- alongside forward Pau Gasol in the low post.
That Gasol remained with the Lakers might be the most surprising part of the deal. Gasol was asked about the trade after Spain defeated Russia in a semifinal game Friday at the London Olympics.
"Having Dwight with us is going to be a big deal," Gasol said. "Once the Olympics are over, I'm truly excited to get back to my teammates. Obviously, we have a very powerful team now.
"I wish the best to my friend Andrew. He's a player who is talented and full of poential."
The Magic also traded guard Jason Richardson to Philadelphia, which sent Andre Iguodala -- a member of the U.S. Olympic team -- to the Denver Nuggets.
Orlando received 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.
"We'd like to thank Andrew for all he’s done for the team and the organization," said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. "Andrew has been with us since we drafted him at 17 years old and over the last seven years we have watched him develop into an All-Star player who has helped the team win two NBA Championships. He’s a special talent with a bright future. We appreciate all of his contributions and wish him well for the remainder of his career."
Howard has been the subject of trade rumors since the start of last season. In April, Howard visited Los Angeles for back surgery after it was announced he would miss the rest of the NBA season and the London Olympics.
Howard, 26, in the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and a six-time NBA All-Star.
Correction: A headline on an earlier verision stated that Andrew Bynum was traded to Orlando. He was acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers in the multi-team deal.