The buzz around Orlando is real. The national media has picked up on this young Orlando Magic team that plays hard and leans on its defense. The Magic have not had an equivalent start to a season since Dwight Howard dawned blue pinstripes.
Howard's teams were also built on their defensive identity and were fun because of how young Howard was. The young center was 23 when he took Orlando to the NBA Finals in 2009.
Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner and the new era of Magic basketball will look to build a similar path and make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
How did Jeff Weltman assemble such a unique and young team? We can actually pay some respects to Dwight Howard in examining that.
We will be taking a look at how each asset benefited Orlando and how remnants of that deal are still sprinkled throughout the roster.
On August 10, 2012, the Orlando Magic completed a complicated four-team trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers with Earl Clark, Jason Richardson and Chris Duhon out of Orlando and netted the team Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Christian Eyenga and Josh McRoberts along with several first-round picks.
The initial assets from the Dwight trade have now passed, but these players and draft picks have still remained a pivotal part of the Magic's core.