30. Arron Afflalo (2013-14, 2018)
When Arron Afflalo signed a veterans’ minimum deal with the Orlando Magic last summer, it took a lot of fans by surprise. Afflalo had worked his way into becoming a solid rotational player who would provide some solid veteran presence for any team. It seemed a return to Orlando would mean he was coming off the bench.
What followed from Afflalo endeared him to Magic fans in a way that no one expected. Really Afflalo was one of the few players to have truly fallen in love with Orlando. He became popular not because of his play, but his desire to come back.
When he touched down in Orlando in the summer of 2017, it seemed his social media posts were a love letter to Orlando. He expressed nothing but appreciation for the franchise for giving him another opportunity and felt the responsibility of doing things right for his teammates and his franchise.
He made it known to the world how much he wanted to be here.
His 2018 return season was not what he expected — a career-worst 3.4 points per game and he was virtually out of the rotation the entire season. His career seemed to fall off a cliff. But Afflalo never complained and was a good presence in the locker room for the team.
There is a general appreciation for Arron Afflalo for putting in yeoman’s work as the best player on the team after the Dwight Howard trade. He nearly became an All-Star in those transition years.