Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Thursday morning the Magic have traded guard Arron Afflalo to the Nuggets for guard Evan Fournier and the 56th pick in the Draft tonight.
The trade has not been made official, but Arron Afflalo confirmed the trade in an interview with Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:
“The idea is just to continue to be professional and understand that that’s part of the business. 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 evan (@EvanFourmizz) June 26, 2014
Afflalo was a star player for the Magic last year and the team’s top scorer. He was nearly an All Star last year as the top scorer on the team and a skilled scorer. He just was not best suited for the starring role on a struggling team like the Magic.
Orlando had to find a way to decrease his role . . . or to free up shots for young players like Victor Oladipo and the upcoming draft pick.
Evan Fournier does that in some sense. He is a low usage player who is styled as a 3-and-D player. He averaged 8.4 points per game. His 3-point field goal percentage dropped from 40.7 percent to 37.6 percent from beyond the arc. His usage rate has hovered around 20 percent in his two years.
Orlando is going to get a good complementary young piece. Fournier is only 21 years old and on his rookie contract.
And that might have been the reason this deal was made. Fournier is owed about $1.5 million next season before he gets a team option for $2.3 million the following year. Afflalo is owed $7.75 million this year and has a player option for $7.9 million. That is a saving of about $5-6 million the next two years.
Orlando is keeping plenty of cap flexibility.
Were there better deals out there for the Magic? Who knows.
Orlando got a young player — something the team made it pretty clear they wanted. He is a guy that the Magic can grow and develop. And he has some versatility. That appeared to be what the Magic were after.
Is this a home run like Tobias Harris could be? Probably not. And that is the disappointment. Magic fans and basketball observers thought Afflalo was certain to fetch more. That was apparently not the case. Orlando decided it was time to pull the trigger.