The clock could be ticking on Arron Afflalo’s tenure with the Orlando Magic. Magic executives like what Afflalo brings to the team, and a league source told the Orlando Sentinel that Afflalo and his agent have not asked for a trade, but it may make sense for the Magic to trade Afflalo sooner rather than later. Why? Primarily for the same reason the team traded J.J. Redick in Feb. 2013. As you’ll remember, Redick was on course to become a free agent during the summer of 2013, and if the Magic had retained Redick beyond the trade deadline, there was a strong chance Redick would sign elsewhere, leaving the Magic with no asset in Redick’s place. In essence, the Magic, who were not interested in overpaying to keep Redick in free agency, did not want to lose Redick for nothing, and the team wound up trading him, Gustavo Ayón and Ish Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks for Tobias Harris, Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih. Afflalo has a player option for the 2015-16 season, and he plans to do the smart thing and become a free agent during the summer of 2015. If the Magic keep him on their roster until next summer, they would run the risk of losing him for nothing in free agency. So this is the prism through which you should look at the Yahoo Sports report that the Chicago Bulls are interested in trading for Afflalo. The Bulls desperately need a strong shooter who also is a willing defender, and Afflalo would be a perfect fit. Afflalo, who is 28 and has spent the last two seasons on one of the NBA’s worst teams, also would relish the chance to go to a contender. The Bulls own the 16th, 19th and 49th picks in Thursday’s NBA Draft, but it’s unclear what pick or picks and players the Bulls would be willing to give away. (And, no, folks, I can’t see the Bulls giving up Taj Gibson or Jimmy Butler in any potential deal with the Magic.) The Magic own the fourth and 12th picks in the draft, and because of the cap space they’ll have, they can also give a trade partner cap relief by acquiring a player or two with bloated salaries. To be sure, Orlando would be best served to explore every option and see if Afflalo and their picks could net a lottery pick. That’s obvious — just as it’s obvious that the Magic would love to acquire the top overall pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers or the second overall pick from the Milwaukee Bucks to select Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. (By the way, I don’t see any scenario in which the Bucks would trade away the second overall pick. The Cavs might be a different story; their owner, Dan Gilbert, is pushing for the team to reach the playoffs in 2014-15.) But a potential deal with Chicago is intriguing.
Trading Arron Afflalo could have significant benefits for the Magic
Orlando Sentinel | Jun 22