Howard, a 26-year-old three-time NBA Defensive player of the year, had played his entire eight-season NBA career with Orlando but recent seasons he had expressed interest in leaving the Magic.
Orlando made that happen Friday.
Howard, guard Chris Duhon and forward Early Cark were sent from the Magic to the Lakers for forward Josh McReynolds and swingman Christian Eyenga. Orlando sent guard Jason Richardson to Philadelphia for center Nikola Vucevic and first-round draft pick More Harkless. The Magic also obtained guard Arron Afflalo and forward Al Harrison from Denver.
Orlando picked up five draft picks. The Magic will have Denver's second-round pick in 2013 and a first-round pick from either Denver or New York in 2014. They also will have a conditional 2015 first-round pick from Philadelphia, a conditional 2015 second-round pick from Los Angeles and a conditional first-round pick from the Lakers in 2017.
The new Nuggets are former Philadelphia forward Andre Iguodala and Lakers center Andrew Bynum.
Howard is the centerpiece of the deal. The 6-11, 265-pounder has been voted the NBA Defensive Player of the Year three of the last four seasons. Over 621 regular-season games, Howard averaged 18.4 points and 13 rebounds a game. He led the league in rebounds four of the last five seasons.