Arron Afflalo, one of the hottest names on the trade market prior to Thursday's draft, has reportedly been dealt from the Orlando Magic to the Denver Nuggets, the Magic announced:
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports initially reported the news:
Orlando has agreed to send Arron Afflalo to Denver for Evan Fournier and 56th pick in 2014 Draft, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 26, 2014
Sam Amick of USA Today later confirmed Wojnarowski's report:
Orlando will receive Evan Fournier and the No. 56 pick from Denver for Arron Afflalo, I'm told. Yahoo reported Afflalo was outbound.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 26, 2014
Afflalo is no stranger to the Nuggets, having played with the franchise from 2009 to 2012, in which time he emerged as a solid starter in the league. He increased his scoring output from 8.8 points per game in his first season in Denver to 15.2 by the end of his tenure.
Affalo commented on the deal to Joshua B. Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:
“The idea is just to continue to be professional and understand that that’s part of the business,” Afflalo told the Orlando Sentinel in a phone interview. “You’re always surprised when you get traded because it’s just a change. There’s some obvious windows with success and my age and my contract and the [Magic] and how we were developing as a group.
“I’m always one for always seeing potential and success every single year that I played the game. I always thought that we could be good now. But things take time to develop, and I believe the management group that the Magic have are smart guys. They’re going to do what’s best for the team.”
Fournier also discussed the deal on his Twitter account:
Spotrac discussed some of the salary implications of the deal:
Grantland's Zach Lowe noted that Afflalo was being absorbed into the Nuggets' trade exception:
Denver appears to be absorbing Afflalo into a trade exception. Orlando gathering flexibility, I guess. Feels like another shoe to drop.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 26, 2014
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel breaks down the cap implications:
Magic officials have liked Fournier going back to 2012. But the Magic instead used the 19th pick in that draft to select power forward Andrew Nicholson instead of Fournier.
Afflalo, 28, is on track to become a free agent in the summer of 2015, and the Magic likely wanted to ensure they would receive an asset in return.
Acquiring Fournier for Afflalo also will create approximately $6 million in cap space for Orlando, which nonetheless isn't expected to be a major player in free agency this summer.
Robbins added more info about Afflalo and his desire to leave:
The Magic's continuous losing was like torture to Afflalo. Still, I'm told he and his agent did NOT request a trade.— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) June 26, 2014
The Nuggets needed to upgrade the shooting guard position, as Randy Foye proved to be better as a three-point specialist by hitting 38 percent of his shots from beyond the arc but lacking the versatility needed to start 82 games.
Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post noted that this move solves two problems for the Nuggets by giving them the 2-guard they need and opening up their draft board in the first round:
Afflalo returns to the #Nuggets. He will not be flipped for anyone else and should be in line to be the starting shooting guard.— Chris Dempsey (@dempseypost) June 26, 2014
It also means that the pressure is off for the #Nuggets with the 11th pick. It's now expected that they use it on the best player available.— Chris Dempsey (@dempseypost) June 26, 2014
Jeff Goodman and Chad Ford of ESPN.com reported Wednesday that Orlando hoped to package Afflalo with the Magic's two first-round picks in a deal for the No. 1 overall pick from Cleveland.
Which team made out better in this deal?
Apparently the Cavaliers weren't going to bite on that deal or waited too long, which works out well for a Denver team that has a much better nucleus now with Afflalo joining Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson.
The Western Conference is so deep right now that the Nuggets have work to do if they want to be a playoff team, but this deal for Afflalo moves them closer to the pack, and they didn't have to give up the No. 11 pick to make it happen.
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