While Andre Iguodala was working towards bringing a gold medal home to the United States, the Philadelphia 76ers were working on a deal to ship the the eight-year veteran out of town.
The deal involving Iggy began being reported early Thursday with different variations of the deal being discussed throughout the day.
By the end of the day four teams were involved, including two big name players and all that was needed was the leagues approval.
The 76ers will receive Andrew Bynum from the Lakers and take on Jason Richardson's contract from the Orlando Magic in what is probably the franchises biggest move since drafting Allen Iverson with the no. one overall pick in 1996.
The big winner of the transaction was the Los Angeles Lakers who now have a front-court of Dwight Howard coupled with Pau Gasol who could surely benefit from the addition of another big who will demand more attention then he, while alleviating a ton of pressure from Gasol who looks like he is on the downturn of his career.
The Denver Nuggets get Iguodala, who they have yearned for some time now, while the Orlando Magic seem to have received the most -- being that they gave up the most prized possession of the deal -- getting back Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless (76ers 1st rd pick in 2012 draft) and a protected first-round pick from each of teams involved in the deal.
Doug Collins and crew have just gotten better overnight having to only give up Andre Iguodala, Andre Nocioni, Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless. The only significant member of the team lost is Iguodala and the 76ers have had a surplus at the wing positions for some time now and the recent acquisitions of Dorrell Wright and Nick Young this off season have not helped the log jam.
For the upstart 76ers, they have now gotten rid of Iggy who has fell out of favor with the fan base within the last few seasons and they now have a solid option at the center position, cc: Kwame Brown and Spencer Hawes.
Is this new deal without risk? Of course not. They most certainly will take a step back in terms of perimeter defense as A.I. would guard the leagues best night-in and night-out.
Philadelphia also has to be concerned with the inner workings of Andrew Bynum's head. The guy has shown flashes of brilliance at times but then you think back to him clobbering J.J. Barea in the 2011 playoffs at the end of the game and then ripping his jersey off in the mold of Dennis Rodman as he walked off the court following his ejection, or him looking disinterested and disengaged from the rest of the team in this year's playoffs. The man surely has character problems.
Then there is the issue of resigning Bynum. He will be a free agent at the conclusion of next season and the 76ers -- and demanding fans -- have to make enough of an impression to make Bynum want to stay. Philly does have the Larry Bird rules in their favor in that they can offer more money than any other team for his services.
The last major concern they should have is the durability of two-time NBA champion who has only played 82 games in a season one time which was back in 2007. To his credit he did play 60 of 66 games last year. Besides those seasons, his totals are 65, 54, 50, 46 and 35 games played respectively. Missed playing time is almost a lock for guy with a track record and the knees of Bynum.
Bynum is now back on the east coast having went to high school at St. Joseph's in Metuchen, New Jersey and now has the opportunity to be the 'guy' like he has wanted for so long now.
In their favor they get a guy who averaged 18.7 points per game in 2011-2012 and seems to being on up-tick of career. He has also added bulk to his frame every season and is arguably the best center in the Eastern Conference now that Howard is in LA.
It also helps that Sixers have other bigs like Hawes, Brown, Lavoy Allen and rookie Arnett Moultrie in a post rotation to play on the block and help ease Bynum into his role as the staple of the franchise.
Further, it doesn't hurt that the team finally gets out from under Iggy's dreadful contract and now have flexibility to improve this team even further in the future.
As an added bonus, Jason Richardson is now a Sixer and though the former no. five overall pick is not the high-flying finisher that he used to be, he is still an experienced veteran who has had personal success in the league and can knock down the three. It is unclear how he will fit with the team but that is why Doug Collins is one of the leagues best.
Philadelphia now has to be mentioned with the top teams in the east like Boston, Chicago, Indiana, and even Miami. The team will now be fashioned around Jrue Holliday, Bynum and former no. two overall selection Evan Turner who will finally get the chance to flourish.
As long as Bynum, his head and the screws can be on the court for 60-70 games this could be positive for the 76ers and their new ownership in addition to the fan base.