The accidentally first place Toronto Raptors may have no choice but to contend after their trade of the inefficient Rudy Gay, and now may be looking to add more pieces for a playoff run. Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports the Raptors have interest in Arron Afflalo, hoping to dangle Terrence Ross as trade bait. Orlando “values Ross highly, per several league sources,” but it is unclear whether he is enough to get a deal done on his own.
Over the summer, the Magic allegedly rejected the Los Angeles Clippers’ trade offer of Eric Bledsoe for Afflalo per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Many thought Bledsoe could have been Orlando’s point guard of the future, but the Magic held back, hoping that Afflalo’s value would increase this year. It has. Afflalo is currently averaging 21.9 points per game, on incredible efficiency, good for 11th overall in the league. He has made a case for himself as the 3rd best shooting guard in the NBA, behind James Harden and Dwayne Wade. One thing is for sure, lot’s of teams are interested and this won’t be the last Orlando Magic trade rumor involving Afflalo.
Is Afflalo worth more than Terrence Ross? Yes, but it is unclear how much more Toronto has to offer. Their first round pick this year is likely off limits since the Raptors are in love with the idea of somehow landing Andrew Wiggins, but a 2015 first rounder isn’t out of the question. Of course draft picks are more valuable in Toronto, where the Raptors struggle to attract free agents due to the hesitation of NBA players to play in Canada. (This article previously incorrectly stated that Toronto player suffered from double taxation. Toronto taxes are higher than most US cities, but if a Toronto player keeps a US residence in a non-income taxed US state like Florida or Texas, their taxes are actually cheaper than playing for New York or Brooklyn) The Magic also would have to take back a bad contract to make the salaries match, probably in the form of Landry Fields, making any deal unlikely.
Terrence Ross is an intriguing asset. He is only 22 years old, with legitimate 3 point range. His 41.8% 3 point shooting could duplicate Afflalo’s floor spacing duties. But the 3rd best shooting guard in the league on a team friendly, non-expiring contract is incredibly valuable, and the Orlando Magic are not going to give him away. Look for both teams to wait on this until the trade deadline. By then the Raptors will have a better idea of whether they are competitive or not, and the Magic can take advantage of a bidding war for Afflalo’s services.
What do you think of this Orlando Magic trade? Do the Raptors have what it takes to get a deal done? Is Afflalo worth more? Let us know in the comments section below.