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According to Yahoo! Sports, the Magic have traded Arron Afflalo to the Nuggets in exchange for Evan Fournier and the 56th pick in the draft (Devyn Marble). Our writers weigh in on the aftermath of the trade.
1. Good deal for the Magic?
Scott Rafferty: It’s hard to believe that the best the Magic could get in a trade for Arron Afflalo is a bench player and a late second-round pick, but they did clear cap space in doing so. Also, seeing as Afflalo is likely going to decline his player option next summer, it’s good that the Magic got at least some return on him.
Eddy Rivera: I’m surprised that the Magic weren’t able to get something more for Afflalo, especially when it was rumored that teams (namely the Hornets and Bulls) were willing to give up a first round pick for him. Technically, Fournier is a former first round pick, but you would have liked to see GM Rob Hennigan get a better return for Afflalo.
Tim Sartori: It’s not a fantastic deal. Evan Fournier is nowhere near the player that Arron Afflalo is, but the Magic have been shopping Afflalo for a while now so if they think that this is the best they can get for him (Hennigan does his due diligence), then perhaps it is.
2. Good deal for Arron Afflalo?
Rafferty: There were some rumors floating around before the trade that the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets were interested in Afflalo, and both those situations would’ve suited him better. Nevertheless, he should be a nice fit alongside Ty Lawson. It’s not the championship contender he wanted but, at the very least, he’s in a good place to flaunt his stuff before he expects to make a splash in free agency.
Rivera: It’s good for Afflalo, in the sense that he’ll be playing on a more competitive team in Denver that should contend for a playoff spot next season. But it would have been fun to see him with the Bulls. He would have been a perfect fit there, given that he’s the type of secondary wing scorer that Chicago desperately needs.
Sartori: Afflalo supposedly wanted to join a contender, and obviously Denver isn’t exactly that right now. However, he only has two years left on his contract with a player option coming after this season, so he’ll be able to head into free agency after a season with a team that will allow him to showcase his whole offensive game.
3. Which Magic player benefits the most from Afflalo’s absence?
Rafferty: A big reason why Tobias Harris was more efficient and effective off the bench last season was because he had a lot more freedom offensively. Seeing as Afflalo was practically their engine offensively, someone is going to have to step up and replace his production. Some of that will come from Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic, obviously, but a big chunk should come from Harris.
Rivera: Victor Oladipo. With the Afflalo trade and the acquisition of point guard Elfrid Payton in the draft, the Magic have made it abundantly clear that they see Oladipo as the franchise’s two-guard of the future. The point guard experiment is over and now Oladipo can start full-time at his natural position.
Sartori: The biggest benefactor will probably be somebody who wasn’t even a Magic player less than 24 hours ago: Aaron Gordon. It hasn’t yet been determined which forward position Gordon will spend most of his time at in the NBA, but moving Afflalo gives the Magic the ability to slide Gordon into the 3 for periods when Afflalo likely would’ve been playing there.