The Orlando Magic are fresh off their second straight losing season. The losses have piled up for the franchise since the blockbuster Dwight Howard trade in 2012. Under GM Rob Hennigan, the team has completely rebuilt the roster. The only player left from the Howard era is Jameer Nelson. Despite the fact that the team has won 43 games in 2 seasons, there is reason for optimism in Orlando.
Perhaps the best trade asset the Magic have is Arron Afflalo. Afflalo flourished for the Magic last season as an efficient scorer and leader. The veteran averaged 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 45.9 percent from the field, 42.7 percent from beyond the arc and 81.5 percent from the free-throw line.
There were rumors at last seasons trade deadline that the team would move Afflalo. It’s no surprise that this resurfaces with the 2014 NBA Draft less than two weeks away. The Magic have the fourth and 12th overall picks in the draft. By trading Afflalo the team may be able to land a third first-round pick or more young players to add to their roster. Afflalo’s cap friendly contract is appealing to teams looking for an upgrade on the perimeter.
By trading Afflalo, the Magic would likely move Victor Oladipo to his natural position of shooting guard. The Magic experimented with Oladipo at point guard this past season. Oladipo struggled with turnovers and seems more of a natural fit at shooting guard. Look for the Magic to use one of their lottery picks on a point guard.
The youth movement in Orlando is in full effect. Oladipo had a very good first season for the Magic. Forwards Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless are promising prospects as well. These young players need more playing time and moving Afflalo seems like the best way to make that happen.