Best Potential Trade Packages, Scenarios and Landing Spots for Arron Afflalo
There is more to NBA trade rumors than Kevin Love.
While many teams are already losing themselves in the Summer of Love, there's another high-priority target who might be ready for a change of scenery. According to the Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz, the Orlando Magic's Arron Afflalo "wouldn't mind being moved to a playoff team."
He made the playoffs in each of his first five seasons with the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets, so his last two years in Orlando have undoubtedly been tough. The Magic remain in the thick of a long, extensive rebuild and are in position to select Australian combo guard Dante Exum in this year's draft, potentially rendering their leading scorer expendable.
Although the veteran swingman isn't a superstar, he earns a reasonable $7.5 million next season and provides instant shooting and overall offense. Outside interest, then, is a given.
Figuring out where he could land next isn't so easy.
Golden State Warriors
Orlando Magic Receive: PF David Lee
Golden State Warriors Receive: SG Arron Afflalo and PF Jason Maxiell
Why Orlando Does It: A previous report from Bay Area News Group's Marcus Thompson alleges that the Magic are interested in David Lee.
Well, here they go.
Lee is owed more than $30.5 million over the next two seasons, but he's a two-time All-Star and double-double machine who puts fans in the seats. His productivity instantly makes the Magic more interesting, and if he's still averaging something like 18 points and 10 rebounds per game heading into summer 2015, he'll be one of the most coveted expiring contracts available.
Why Golden State Does It: This deal would basically be conditional upon, or perhaps part of, the Warriors trading for Kevin Love.
Here's Thompson on the matter:
Afflalo factors in if the Warriors have to move Klay Thompson. If Minnesota doesn't want Lee and the Warriors have to put together a package centered on Thompson (say Thompson, Barnes and Speights), the Warriors could be fine with that if they can send Lee to Orlando and come away with Afflalo to replace Thompson. If Love goes elsewhere, which is likely, the Warriors could package Lee and Thompson to get someone like Carmelo Anthony, then try to pull off a separate deal to get Afflalo. He plays both ends and he can shoot the 3.
Even if the Warriors don't succeed in acquiring Love, Afflalo makes sense if new head coach Steve Kerr is looking to run small. With him alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala or Harrison Barnes, it's impossible to space the floor anymore than that.
Afflalo apparently wants to play for a postseason team, and the Warriors—Love or no Love—offer him the chance to join a contender that enjoys shooting three-pointers. In other words, he would fit right in.
Orlando Magic Receive: SG Ray MacCallum, SG Jason Terry and Sacramento's 2014 first-round pick (No. 8 overall)
Sacramento Kings Receive: SG Arron Afflalo and New York's 2014 first-round pick (No. 12)
Why Orlando Does It: A tip of the hat to Bleacher Report's Adam Fromal, who first came up with this gem.
Jason Terry is nothing more than an expiring contract in this deal. Ray MacCallum is different. He holds value as an athletic, albeit undersized 2-guard who can step in and play minutes behind Victor Oladipo, Jameer Nelson and possibly Exum.
Sacramento's eighth pick is the real steal. The Kings are open to dealing it, according to NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper. Acquiring it would give the Magic the No. 4 and No. 8 selections and the subsequent opportunity to draft two elite prospects in this loaded class.
Starting next season with, say, Exum and one of Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh or Doug McDermott would accelerate Orlando's rebuilding process.
Why Sacramento Does It: Remember when the Kings made the playoffs? It's understandable if you don't. They haven't entered The Show since 2006.
If the Kings are really looking to trade their pick, this is a solid deal. Moving down four spots keeps them in the lottery, while Afflalo gives them a three-point assassin who can defend. The Kings ranked 28th in deep-ball shooting and 23rd in defensive efficiency last season, leaving them with a gaping hole for a three-and-D guy.
Landing Afflalo also safeguards them against Rudy Gay's departure. Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears says they would like to retain the offensively savvy wing, but Gay can become a free agent and sign elsewhere. If he leaves, Afflalo can see time at small forward.
And if Gay doesn't leave, the Kings are equipped to run some dangerous small-ball lineups that include DeMarcus Cousins, Gay, Afflalo, Ben McLemore and Isaiah Thomas, assuming the latter returns.
Now tell me that doesn't sound exciting...and enough to bring the Kings within striking distance of their first playoff berth since 2006.
Orlando Magic Receive: PF Ed Davis (sign-and-trade) and SG Courtney Lee
Memphis Grizzlies Receive: SG Arron Afflalo and PF Jason Maxiell
Why Orlando Does It: Perhaps the Magic balk at this one, but their purported interest in trading for a power forward (David Lee) should be enough to get the conversation started.
Ed Davis played sporadically for the Grizzlies last season, yet at 25, he's still considered one of the better power forward prospects out there. His developing inside-out game fits next to Nikola Vucevic, and if the Magic lock him up in a sign-and-trade, they could have their power forward of the future.
Courtney Lee's contract doesn't scream "bargain," but he's essentially a poor man's Afflalo. He's a solid defender and can score in transition and when he's on, threes will start fall.
Why Memphis Does It: Floor. Spacing.
The Grizzlies ranked 19th in three-point conversion rate this past season. They can re-sign Mike Miller and hope that Quincy Pondexter makes an impact, but that won't drastically change their anemic offensive attack.
Upon arrival, Afflalo immediately diminishes the need to have the rapidly aging Tayshaun Prince play at all. At 6'5", Afflalo can man the 2 or 3, making him the ideal acquisition for those rare but important occasions Memphis runs small.
Losing Davis hurts the Grizzlies up front, but his departure may be inevitable. Like ESPN.com's Marc Stein noted, the safe bet "is that Davis' agent, Rob Pelinka, will be able to generate an offer sheet in free agency that comes in higher than Memphis was hoping to spend."
Memphis isn't one to overpay for its free agents. If Davis is on the verge of pricing himself out the Grizzlies' range, it's best to capitalize on his exit.
Financially, this trade is predicated on Davis' new contract not breaking the bank. If it's too expensive, he cannot be paired with Lee, relegating this idea null and void.
Orlando Magic Receive*: PF Carlos Boozer, SG Tony Snell and Charlotte's 2014 first-round draft pick (No. 16 overall)
Chicago Bulls Receive: SG Arron Afflalo, PF Jason Maxiell and PG Ronnie Price
(*Carlos Boozer is a necessary inclusion because Chicago is over the cap with him in tow. If the Bulls decide to amnesty him, they can send Mike Dunleavy's expiring contract instead, and the numbers would work.)
Why Orlando Does It: Allow me to explain before going absolutely bonkers.
Trading for Boozer isn't smart, but it's not stupid. His contract comes off the books next season, he spaces the floor enough to play alongside Vucevic and other bigs, and he can still register the occasional double-double.
Besides, the Magic aren't doing this for Boozer. They're doing this for Charlotte's first-rounder, which falls just outside the lottery in this year's upside-crammed draft. And they're doing this for Tony Snell, who, despite being seldom used in Chicago, is still an intriguing 2-guard prospect.
Don't forget, the Bulls could also amnesty Boozer before and change the fabric of this trade entirely by sending Dunleavy instead.
Why Chicago Does It: Holy shooting, Tom Thibodeau.
Chicago buried just 34.8 percent of its treys last season, the seventh-worst mark of any team. Afflalo can slide in next to Jimmy Butler at the 2 or 3 and act as Luol Deng's slightly undersized, dangerous-shooting replacement.
Brokering a trade for Afflalo—whether they deal or amnesty Boozer—would preclude the Bulls from signing Carmelo Anthony or trading for Kevin Love, though. The latter would still be possible—a package built around some combination of draft picks, Dunleavy, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic could be a good starting point—but beyond unlikely.
That makes this something the Bulls explore if and only if they're not confident in their ability to land another star this summer. If they can't make their desired free-agency or trade splash, there are far worse consolation prizes than Afflalo.
"It's tough. There are really no other words," Afflalo said of missing the playoffs, via Fox Sports Florida's Ken Hornack. "It's a place I feel like I belong. It's a place I feel I would thrive. It's a place that I want to be."
And a place he would frequent with the Bulls.
Orlando Magic Receive: PG Will Bynum, PF Greg Monroe (sign-and-trade) and Detroit's 2014 second-round draft pick (No. 38 overall)
Detroit Pistons Receive: SG Arron Afflalo and PG Jameer Nelson
Why Orlando Does It: We're basing this on Orlando's reported interest in Lee again here.
Greg Monroe figures to be one of the most coveted free agents available this summer. While the Pistons can match any offer sheet he signs, retaining him equates to endorsing the paint-clogging nightmare that Joe Dumars helped build.
Will Bynum can be a fine backup point guard, especially if Orlando drafts Exum. Thanks to the Magic not having Josh Smith as their starting small forward, Monroe can slide into the starting 4 spot next to Vucevic.
That 2014 second-round pick also stands to be a good get. In a draft class this deep, No. 38 can be considered an extension of a late first-rounder.
Why Detroit Does It: Expect new coach and president Stan Van Gundy to work the phones this summer in search of shooting. The Pistons ranked 29th in long-range efficiency and need to bolster their perimeter scoring if they're to contend for a playoff spot next year.
Bringing in Afflalo gives them someone who can drill threes consistently. His 42.7 percent conversion rate from deep would have ranked first among Detroit players who attempted at least one three last season.
Jameer Nelson is relevant in a number of ways. His $8 million salary for 2014-15 isn't guaranteed, which gives the Pistons an easy out. Plus, he also deepens the point guard rotation as someone who can come off the bench and play in conjunction with Brandon Jennings.
Ending a half-decade playoff drought next season won't be easy. Nabbing Afflalo and Nelson would, however, make it possible.