Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 42

Nov 18

Exploring the Magic’s trade options


Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

While the Orlando Magic have performed admirably early on this season, winning is not the short-term goal of this team and the better-than-expected performance likely won’t continue.

Orlando’s top three trade assets are Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, and Glen Davis. It’s a triumvirate of solid veteran contributors that can appeal to teams with different positional needs. The biggest reason for Orlando to make a deal (or two) is to increase their odds at the top pick in a loaded 2014 draft.

The most desired prize for Orlando is a first round pick, but most teams will be loathed to give one away in the upcoming draft. The best chance of getting a pick may come from dealing Nelson, Afflalo, and Davis to contenders that need some depth and will end up with a pick in the 20s. The alternative, getting a young player with potential, also comes from these teams who would rather make a push for the title now than build for the coming years.

Of course, salaries in a deal need to match up, which means the Magic would likely be getting something back other than the real asset they want. Other teams will probably look to offload some unwanted salary in a deal.

The framework of most possible trades has Orlando giving up one of the aforementioned three vets for a pick or young player and a salary dump. That’s the ideal scenario for the Magic.

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Nov 17

Grades: Dallas Mavericks 108, Orlando Magic 100

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AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.


Dallas Mavericks 108 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
8-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | -2

Normally a face-up player, Vucevic went to work in the post against the gangly Samuel Dalembert, leveraging his size to his advantage and scoring with little difficulty. He made a few hook shots with both hands — including two lefty hooks — and displayed good footwork. If Vucevic can keep making strides in the low post, he’ll become a more complete player on offense.

Victor Oladipo
3-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | -10

Turnovers were a big issue for Oladipo. Most of his nine turnovers related to his passing and ballhandling. Oladipo made several bad passes and lost the ball a few times when trying to split the double-team in pick-and-roll sets. The underlying theme is that Oladipo was forcing it way too much. The good news for Magic fans is that these are correctable mistakes.

Arron Afflalo
6-12 FG | 13-14 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 25 PTS | -2

After setting career highs in points and 3-point field goals made versus the Milwaukee Bucks, Afflalo followed that up by setting a new career-high in free throws made and attempted against the Mavericks. He was aggressive in attacking the rim off the dribble and drawing fouls. That allowed him to rack up free throws in bunches and put together a James Harden-like performance offensively (25 points on 12 shots)

Jameer Nelson
6-11 FG | 3-6 3P | 4 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | -4

The biggest storyline in the Magic’s loss to Dallas was a healthy Nelson not playing in the fourth quarter of a close game. Head coach Jacque Vaughn made the decision to play a small lineup (Oladipo-Moore-Afflalo-Harkless-Vucevic) in the final period and his choice raised a lot of eyebrows, given that Nelson was torching Jose Calderon and Oladipo was struggling to do the same.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks got contributions from a lot of players in their win over Orlando, but it was Dirk Nowitzki (18 points on 6-for-12 shooting) that had the game’s defining moment. Dirk Nowitzki made a cold-blooded 3-pointer from the right wing over Harkless’ outstretched arm with 3:10 remaining that gave the Mavericks a 100-91 lead and essentially ended the game.

Nov 17

Video: Harkless and Vucevic play give-and-go

Nov 16

Preview: Dallas Mavericks at Orlando Magic


  • Teams: Dallas Mavericks at Orlando Magic
  • Date: November 16, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Florida
  • Arena: Amway Center


  • Mavericks: 5-4
  • Magic: 4-5

Probable starters


  • Jose Calderon
  • Monta Ellis
  • Shawn Marion
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Sam Dalembert


  • Jameer Nelson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Jason Maxiell
  • Nikola Vuvevic

Advanced stats


  • Pace: 98.2 (5th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 108.4 (4th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.9 (20th of 30)


  • Pace: 97.2 (9th of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 102.2 (19th of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 101.3 (7th of 30)

Read about the Mavericks

Mavs Moneyball

Nov 15

Friday’s Mini-Magic Word

  • Jameer Nelson, a 10-year veteran, is living in the moment as the Orlando Magic eye the future with players like Nikola Vucevic, Kyle O’Quinn and Victor Oladipo.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Reserve Magic big man Kyle O’Quinn injured his right ankle during Wednesday’s win over the Milwaukee Bucks and sat out practice Thursday and today. He might not play when the Magic host the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.”
  • As the Orlando Magic get ready to face off against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, Vucevic talks about his admiration for Dirk Nowitzki.
  • The Magic have started the season 4-0 at home and hope to continue that winning streak against the Mavs.
  • Victor Oladipo needs to learn how to use his athleticism effectively, but there’s no doubting his NBA-readiness.

Nov 15

The efficient Arron Afflalo has returned

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

About two days after the NBA season started, an old friend called me and asked how Arron Afflalo was going to do this season. He had just picked him up in his fantasy draft. I simply laughed in response.

But look who’s laughing now.

Nine games into the season and the Orlando Magic appear to be Afflalo’s team, at least on offense. The seventh-year player is posting numbers like he’s back in Denver, and playing with renewed confidence. His production so far this season has been stellar, and that’s a breath of fresh air for Orlando fans.

Getting buckets
Points per game is a rudimentary gauge on how good of a scorer is. Regardless, Afflalo is currently averaging 21.3 points per game, which ranks him 13th overall in the entire league.

Much of that success is due to his 3-point shooting. You really can’t ignore the fact that he’s lighting it up from the outside, shooting 52 percent on 5.6 attempts per game. A vast majority of Afflalo’s 3-point attempts are coming while he’s spotting up and he’s converting them at an extremely high clip.

That torrid shooting display from deep is largely the reason why he’s sporting a .613 True Shooting percentage.

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Nov 14

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Arron Afflalo is turning heads with his All-Star caliber production.
  • Afflalo scored 29 of his career-high 36 points in the second half to help the Orlando Magic beat the Milwaukee Bucks by the score of 94-91.
  • Afflalo gets an A for his performance against the Bucks. Make that two As.
  • Check out an ugly Orlando Magic sleeved jerseys.
  • ESPN Stats & Information: “Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo had a career-high 36 points, eight rebounds, six assists and eight 3-pointers. No player had hit that combination of benchmarks in a game since Jason Kidd against the Rockets on April 11, 1995 (the end of his first NBA season).”
  • As the Magic continue their rebuilding process, Josh Cohen of takes a look at how NBA teams successfully rebuild.
  • In case you haven’t noticed, Afflalo has gotten better as a player.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Afflalo wanted to be able to play a full 48 minutes without feeling tired, and his offseason conditioning has helped him do that. According to SportVU player tracking technology, which the NBA is using, Afflalo had traveled 23.0 miles during games this season — the sixth-highest figure in the league through Wednesday.”
  • Solomon Jones will try to avoid knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Nov 14

Highlights: Arron Afflalo sets a new career high

Nov 14

Grades: Orlando Magic 94, Milwaukee Bucks 91

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AP Photo/John Raoux


Orlando Magic 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
91 Milwaukee Bucks

Nikola Vucevic
6-10 FG | 5-6 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 17 PTS | +2

Vucevic made two big plays. First, he came up with a huge block on O.J. Mayo with 1:09 remaining and the Magic clinging to a 92-89 lead. Then a few possessions later, Vucevic threw down an uncontested dunk that made it 94-91 with 9.2 seconds left — the Bucks failed to tie the game with a 3-pointer with no timeouts.

Victor Oladipo
4-14 FG | 1-2 3P | 2 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | +10

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. How does that axiom apply to Oladipo? He shot 2-for-9 (22.2 percent) at the rim against the Bucks. Time and again, he attacked the basket. Time and again, he couldn’t convert. Oladipo really struggled, in particular, trying to finish through John Henson’s pterodactyl arms.

Arron Afflalo
11-15 FG | 8-11 3P | 8 REB | 6 AST | 36 PTS | +4

Twice this season, Afflalo has flirted with setting a new career-high in points. Tonight, the flirting reached critical mass, as Afflalo set a new career-high in points and 3-point field goals made. He seemingly couldn’t miss in the second half, and you couldn’t help but wonder what the Milwaukee players were thinking as they continuously helped off of him on defense.

Maurice Harkless
5-11 FG | 0-4 FT | 3 BLK | 9 REB | 10 PTS | +6

It’s hard to choose the play of the night for Harkless, who had a number of action-packed sequences against the Bucks. Was it his monstrous weak-side block on Khris Middleton’s layup attempt? Or his spin move and dunk off the dribble? Or his steal and dunk to beat the buzzer at the end of the second quarter? There’s no wrong answer.

Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee was without Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia, Luke Ridnour, and Larry Sanders against Orlando. And to make matters worse, Caron Butler left the game late in the fourth quarter with a left shoulder injury. Yet the Bucks, playing on the second night of a back-to-back, almost escaped with a victory despite dressing only eight players. A valiant effort from a shorthanded squad.

Nov 13

Video: Maurice Harkless busts out a spin move

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