Projecting a Howard-Bynum trade

How deal would affect 2012-13 win totals for Lakers, Cavaliers, Magic

Updated: July 20, 2012, 12:18 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | Basketball Prospectus

We've heard this song before: Dwight Howard might be on his way out of Orlando. The tenor of the speculation seems to shift by the hour, but, right now, we think we know this: The foundation of the proposed deal between the Lakers, Cavaliers and Magic would place Howard in Los Angeles and Bynum in Cleveland.

Obviously, if a trade actually goes through, there will be many more facets to this megadeal, perhaps even another team. The Magic will seize the chance to offload some of their bad payroll burden while stocking up on franchise-building assets for the future. We don't know what will become of others in possible limbo, such as Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Glen Davis and Anderson Varejao. Nevertheless, it's worth looking at his potential move based just on the two big men because it shows just how seismic a shift will occur in the NBA the day Howard is finally dealt.

Here is a look at how each team would be affected.

Orlando Magic

Our projections had Orlando starting the free-agent period with a forecast of 47.7 wins. That's with Howard and Ryan Anderson still on hand, plus rookie Andrew Nicholson providing a boost. (The system really likes the recently drafted big from St. Bonaventure.) That projection actually nudged up to 49.6 wins when Ray Allen left the Celtics, putting the Magic second in the East.