Orlando Magic Rumors: 5 Potential Landing Spots for Arron Afflalo at NBA Trade Deadline
Orlando Magic Rumors: 5 Potential Landing Spots for Arron Afflalo
Before the 2012-13 season, Arron Afflalo was part of one of the biggest trades in NBA history. He was traded to Orlando, Dwight Howard went to the Los Angeles Lakers, Andrew Bynum went to the Philadelphia 76ers and Andre Iguodala went to the Denver Nuggets. Out of those players, Afflalo is the only one to have never been to an All-Star game, and he is the only one that didn't switch teams as a free agent at the end of the year.
Before the 2011-12 season, Denver signed Afflalo to a five-year, $36.7 million contract to be part of their future so he is signed through the end of next season at $7.36 million per year. With the Magic in rebuilding mode and a plethora of young wing players that need experience, Afflalo has been rumored to be on the trade market since the season began.
For Orlando, Afflalo is in the midst of the best season of his career and his value may never be higher. Afflalo has improved his scoring every year since he got in the league. Last season he averaged a career-high 16.5 points per game in his first year as a go to guy. In his seven-year career, Afflalo has a scoring average just over 10 points per game and has averaged 3.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
In 2013, Afflalo is averaging 21.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He is also shooting a career-high 43.7 percent from three-point range and nearly 86 percent from the free-throw line. He is one of the better perimeter defenders in the NBA and could play a much needed role on a contending team.
The biggest hurdle the Magic will have to overcome is finding a team that is willing to give up their cap space for next season. With names like Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Evan Turner, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng and Dirk Nowitzki as potential free agents, teams are trying to keep as much space open to put themselves in the chase.
The teams that are looking to acquire Afflalo would be teams that are in the hunt but won't have enough cap space to make an impact next year. They also need to have a trade-able asset since Orlando doesn't need to trade him.
5. Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns have been the second most surprising team in the NBA behind the Portland Trail Blazers, and they are currently sitting in the sixth seed in the West. They probably don't have the talent to hang around and make a run, but if they acquire Arron Afflalo they would be in a better position to get in the playoffs. They could trade one of the Morris twins along with first round pick Alex Len and add Afflalo right into the starting lineup. It's not likely they would part with Len, but that is what it would take to get Afflalo.
4. Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets won't have enough money at the end of the season to sign a big name player. However, they have a trade-able asset in Omer Asik that can be moved to acquire someone like Arron Afflalo. Orlando would have one of the better rebounding tandems in the league with Asik and Vucevic, and Houston would acquire someone that could play a big role for them. If they wanted to play small they could use him in a lineup with Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard. He could absorb all the minutes that Omri Casspi is playing -- a little over 20 a game -- and allow the Rockets to rest Parsons and Harden a little more.
3. Detroit Pistons
A return to the team that he started his career with would be a good move for Arron Afflalo. He is an immediate upgrade over Rodney Stuckey and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Afflalo would give Detroit one of the longest and most athletic teams in the league. A lineup that features Brandon Jennings, Afflalo, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond would become the third best team in the East. Detroit needs a player like Afflalo that is a team first guy and would sacrifice scoring and do the dirty work.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
He is not quite James Harden, but he would be a much better fit than Kevin Martin was. Although Oklahoma City has the best record in the league, the lack of proven perimeter players off the bench could still be what holds the Thunder back. They would have to give up young talented players like Perry Jones or Jeremy Lamb to get Afflalo, but he could get them back to the Finals. They would keep their same starting five, but a bench that includes Derek Fisher, Afflalo, Reggie Jackson and Nick Collison would give them a solid nine man rotation.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
The only superstar Cleveland wants is LeBron James. It is looking more and more unlikely that he would leave Miami and even less likely that Cleveland would be his destination. They have a young and talented team, but they lack consistency and leadership. Arron Afflalo would jump right into the starting lineup and allow them to keep Dion Waiters on the bench. They have a plethora of big men and have had a tough time finding playing time for all of them. They could send Tyler Zeller and Anthony Bennett to Orlando to get back Afflalo and lose nothing as far as their rotation goes. They could still start Kyrie Irving, Afflalo, C.J. Miles, Tristan Thompson and Andrew Bynum. Their bench would still include Waiters, Jack, Anderson Varejao, Earl Clark and Alonzo Gee. This wouldn't make them a title contender, but it could get them out of the first round of the playoffs.