When it's all said and done, Arron Afflalo's tenure with the Magic might be a short one.
Arron Afflalo is the best veteran asset the Orlando Magic have, which means the rebuilding franchise will have to consider trades for the talented shooting guard.
The decision by General Manger Rob Hennigan to draft Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo in the first round of this year's draft made the team's future at the position evident.
It's clear that Afflalo will soon be on the move, as the Magic are still in the midst of rebuilding and are more interested in winning during the coming years rather than next season.
For the right package of assets, like a future draft pick and a young player, Hennigan would be foolish not to consider moving the player who was viewed as the centerpiece of the Dwight Howard trade.
Conjuring the right trade won't be without challenges though, as salary cap considerations will muddle matters in most situations. That being said, Hennigan has already proven that he is capable of making the most of unfavorable situations.
Let's put it this way, if Hennigan managed to win the Howard trade when it looked bleak, then he should have no trouble flipping Afflalo (who can be the starting shooting guard on a playoff team) for solid future assets.
Salary Cap Numbers via HoopsHype.com
This trade certainly hurts the Orlando Magic in the short-term, but that isn't necessarily a problem. As soon as Rob Hennigan dealt Dwight Howard, the 2014 NBA Draft became the next truly monumental event for the Magic franchise.
Sure, the Magic finished this season with the worst record and won the second overall pick in the lottery which turned into the impressive Victor Oladipo. But while the Indiana product appears to be at the onset of a successful NBA career, the immense talent that would be eligible for the 2014 draft is off the charts.
The likes of Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker have the potential to develop into franchise-changing players, which is a trait not currently found on Orlando's roster.
All this is to say that getting worse for next season may be in the long-term best interest of everyone emotionally invested in the Magic, as the quickest way to re-emerge from the bottom of the pack is to draft an incredible young and talented player.
In this scenario, the Magic would unload Afflalo's contract (which doesn't expire until the end of the 2016 season if he were to pick up his player option), while picking up a future first round pick from one of the league's most pitiful franchises in recent years.
John Salmons is in the final year of his contract, which means he is set come off the books at the same time as the majority of Orlando's other players.
This would set them up to be major players in the summer of 2014, which is the next time they could realistically consider themselves playoff contenders.
While the Kings could turn it around under new ownership, that isn't a guarantee. Even if the pick is pick-protected (which it almost certainly will be), adding a future draft pick could pay dividends down the road, even if it doesn't happen to land in the lottery.
You might think I'm crazy for proposing this trade because it doesn't appear to help the Orlando Magic at all.
While it's unlikely to help them long-term based upon the players in this move, it will grant them more financial flexibility for next summer.
Tayshaun Prince is clearly in the twilight of his career, which means he won't help the Magic win many games. Remember, that's a very, very good thing.
While losing is disheartening, it's far better to be a terrible team that is in the position to draft tomorrow's superstars than to be a middling club that stands no chance at competing when they get to the playoffs.
Plus, moving the veteran Afflalo to the Memphis Grizzlies would grant him an opportunity to be on a playoff team again. The Grizz would be getting something they desperately need in acquiring Afflalo, outside shooting.
In Tony Wroten, Orlando would be acquiring a raw but athletic point guard who could develop into a solid role player if his jumper ever becomes respectable.
This return would not be glamorous, but it would be consistent with the franchise's future plans. Also, it would allow Victor Oladipo to slide into the starting shooting guard role, which is likely the plan of the Orlando's brain trust regardless.
This trade helps both sides, even if it's addition by subtraction for the Magic.
Have you picked up on a trend?
If not, it's the following: If Rob Hennigan decides to move Arron Afflalo, he will likely do so knowing that he won't be able to get equal value, at least not at the time.
The reality of the situation is that most teams are quickly coming up against the cap, which severely limits those who could throw offers at the Magic. That being said, picking up a couple of draft picks while getting further insurance that Orlando will be in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick next year could be considered as a justifiable move.
Last season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Alonzo Gee averaged 10.3 points and 3.9 boards on 41 percent shooting while averaging 31 minutes per contest. Those numbers leave a lot to be desired from a starting small forward, which strongly hints that Gee should be shifted to a backup role.
If this trade were to occur, Gee could play behind starting small forward Moe Harkless before the former's contract expires at the end of next season.
Acquiring Gee is far from a spectacular move, but it would help to advance the franchise in the right direction.
The future draft picks represent potential opportunities to land a young player at a cost-efficient level, which is something the Magic will need a few years down the line once they have a competent squad and are looking to fill it out cheaply.
Shawn Marion has been a member of the Dallas Mavericks for the past four seasons, but that could be set to change as the veteran small forward is now on an attractive expiring contract.
For teams that are intent upon clearing salary cap, making a trade for Marion makes sense. The 35-year old small forward is still a productive player, as evidenced by the 18.02 PER that he posted last season.
Even though Marion was a positive player a season ago, it's unlikely that he would be able to repeat that feat with a team that figures to be well below the league average.
The Orlando Magic qualify as a team that is looking to disperse their financial burden, which means they could be interested in Marion under the right set of circumstances.
That being said, based upon their offseason moves, the Mavs will likely struggle to compete in a deep Western Conference this season.
If this trade were to occur, it would mean that Arron Afflalo's year in Orlando wasn't anything more than a year-long vacation away from his old home in Denver.
If you remember, the Denver Nuggets moved Afflalo because they viewed Andre Iguodala as the player that could take them to the next level. Since those two men played the same position, it made sense for then GM Masai Ujiri to jettison Afflalo for Iggy in the four-team Dwight Howard trade.
Since Iguodala spurned the Nuggets in order to sign with the Golden State Warriors, Denver once again has a need for a shooting guard.
While the Nuggets signed Randy Foye in free agency, his impact won't be felt as strongly as Afflalo's would be.
For a team still hoping to compete with the elite teams in the Western Conference, this trade makes sense for the Nuggets, provided they could make it work financially.
In Evan Fournier, who Denver drafted in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, the Magic would be getting a very solid spot-up shooter. During his rookie season, Fournier converted on 40.7 percent of his attempts from behind the arc while taking an average of nearly 1.5 per game.
Shooters are always in demand, especially young guys with room to develop like Fournier. Add in a future first-round pick, and this trade makes a whole lot of sense for the Magic.