Denver Nuggets Bring Back Arron Afflalo
Return from whence you came. That’s what the Orlando Magic are saying to star shooting guard Arron Afflalo, who has reportedly been traded back to the Denver Nuggets in a recent deal.
Afflalo, who had previously been dangled along with Orlando’s two lottery picks in Thursday’s draft to try to obtain the number one overall pick, will rejoin the team he spent three seasons with from 2009-2011. Afflalo blossomed into a solid scorer and outside shooting threat with the Nuggets, climbing up to over 15 points per game in 2011.
The reported deal that puts Afflalo back in Denver also sends wing man Evan Fournier to the Magic, while also clearing up roughly $6 million on Orlando’s books for 2014.
The Magic do get a younger wing option in Fournier, who proved to be a fairly reliable bench scorer for the Nuggets last year, as he averaged a respectable 8.4 points per game. Fournier will likely serve a similar role in Orlando, where he’s expected to backup Victor Oladipo to start the 2014-15 NBA season.
It’s also entirely possible the Magic part ways with veteran point guard Jameer Nelson before next season, which could prompt the team to slide Oladipo into the starting point guard spot. If that happens, Fournier could end up competing for a starting spot at the number two or number three spot, potentially.
Afflalo was a bit of a hot commodity in trade rumors recently, as the Magic aimed to improve their stance in the 2014 NBA Draft. He wasn’t just a dangling piece in draft trade talks, however, as the Los Angeles Clippers were reportedly high on the sharpshooter and were interested in nailing down a deal to bring him to L.A. Currently without a legit starting small forward, Los Angeles likely saw Afflalo as a key starter that could replace Matt Barnes.
Denver is Afflalo’s final destination, however, where he will likely be inserted directly into the starting lineup along with Ty Lawson, Randy Foye, Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov. Afflalo’s arrival gives an up-tempo Nuggets team another reliable scoring threat, as well as a quality veteran presence. His versatility also allows Danilo Gallinari to continue to take his time in his recovery from a knee injury and gives Denver three quality players that can play the two and three spot effectively.
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