Last summer, the Orlando Magic rejected the Los Angeles Clippers’ trade offer of Eric Bledsoe for Arron Afflalo. They believed that once Afflalo became more comfortable in Orlando, his trade value could skyrocket. It looks like they were right.
His three point shooting and efficiency have skyrocketed, and he is on pace to produce over 9 wins this year (via WP48) with a PER of 19.8. But according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, “Orlando keeps saying no” to any Arron Afflalo trade offers.
Why would the Magic suddenly be reluctant to deal now that his value has increased? The Magic are betting that Afflalo’s value will only increase as the season goes on. If the Magic do trade him, it will be on one of two dates:
With at least 10 teams in the Western Conference with legitimate playoff aspirations, and playoff spots vulnerable in the awful East, at least 20 teams will still be in contention at the trade deadline. As injuries for contenders continue to pile up, Afflalo’s relative value will only increase. His $7.5 million cap hit is easy to fit in a trade, and with another guaranteed year after this one, he is more than just a rental.
This will be the most anticipated NBA draft since Lebron James entered the league. While almost every team is looking for more draft picks, Afflalo is one of the few assets worthy of acquiring one. The model here is the Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans trade from last year. Yes Afflalo is older, but he is a better player right now, and could be worth a mid-round pick, or packaged to move up.
Are the Magic right to postpone an Arron Afflalo trade? What should they target in return? Let us know in the comments section below or yell at me on Twitter @rj_infantino.