Arron Afflalo Rumors

Magic Prefer To Keep Arron Afflalo

February 19 at 7:08pm CDT By Alex Lee

While Arron Afflalo’s style of play and reasonable contract have made him one of the more desirable trade targets, it appears that the Magic are inclined to hold onto the 28-year-old beyond tomorrow’s deadline, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski is also hearing that Orlando could revisit trading Afflalo as the NBA Draft approaches in June.

The Magic were reportedly looking for multiple first rounders or young players in exchange for Afflalo, who they may also view as a piece for their future. As Chuck Myron detailed earlier this month in our Trade Candidate series, Afflalo has finally begun to live up to the five-year, $38MM deal the Nuggets gave him in 2011. In his sixth year, the well-rounded shooting guard is averaging 19.4 points, 3.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game while maintaining a healthy PER of 17.29.

Orlando already has the third worst record in the league and with Milwaukee “out in front” in the race for the No. 1 pick by a solid margin, it is unlikely the Magic would settle for anything less than what they consider an appropriate return for Afflalo. With him under contract for at least another year at a fair rate, there doesn’t seem to be any urgency to move the UCLA product.

Mannix’s Latest: Celtics, Pelicans, Afflalo

February 19 at 9:42am CDT By Chuck Myron

Every Celtics player, including Rajon Rondo, is available for the right price, Chris Mannix of SI.com reports in a pair of tweets. Still, some rival executives believe Boston is overvaluing Brandon Bass and Jeff Green, for whom Danny Ainge is demanding first-round picks, as Mannix writes in a full piece. Mannix also notes that the Celtics would prefer to keep Kris Humphries through the deadline. There’s plenty more in Mannix’s dispatch covering several of the league’s most active teams in advance of Thursday’s deadline, so let’s dive in:

  • The Pelicans are making a strong effort to trade either Eric Gordon or Tyreke Evans, Mannix hears, contradicting what coach Monty Williams told reporters earlier this week.
  • Mannix adds Arron Afflalo to the list of players the Bobcats are eyeing. Charlotte is apparently willing to absorb a player-friendly contract as part of a deal that brings in an impact player, Mannix writes.
  • The Pistons like Evan Turner, and they may be willing to offer the Sixers the first-round draft pick they’re looking for, according to Mannix. Still, it will take “an overwhelming offer” to pry Greg Monroe from Detroit, which would like to trade Josh Smith instead but is finding no takers.
  • Andre Miller is “gone one way or another,” but that may be the only trade Denver makes, in spite of a heavy volume of calls coming in from other teams, Mannix writes. The Nuggets don’t appear inclined to auction off Kenneth Faried, according to Mannix. His report contrasts with what teams are telling Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who hears that anyone outside of Ty Lawson is available (Twitter link).
  • Rival teams are interested in Bojan Bogdanovic, but the Nets are unwilling to trade the rights to the former second-round pick who’s playing in Turkey.
  • Kirk Hinrich has been drawing more interest than Mike Dunleavy, but executives around the league believe the Bulls probably won’t deal Hinrich and risk deepening the divide between Tom Thibodeau and the front office. Dunleavy is similarly off the table.
  • Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has been “determined” to find another star to go along with Kyrie Irving, but the league appears to have lukewarm feelings about the young players on the Cavs, according to Mannix, which would appear to make a blockbuster unlikely.
  • There’s been friction between Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala, Mannix hears, but rival executives nonetheless believe it will take a massive offer to acquire Barnes, Mannix notes, echoing what Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob has said.

Ford’s Latest: Magic, Cavs, Bobcats

February 18 at 12:33pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Victor Oladipo may be the only Magic player unavailable for a trade, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, who adds that the team is looking for multiple first-round picks or young players for Arron Afflalo. Ford believes Orlando will indeed find a taker for Afflalo, but that’s in contrast to a report from Sam Amick of USA Today indicating the Magic aren’t that eager to trade him and aren’t hearing from any team with strong interest (Twitter link). The Magic’s price is much lower for Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson, Ford writes, and while Amick tweets that the Magic is focusing most of its trade attention on those two, Orlando hasn’t gotten anywhere with either of them yet, Amick says.

Ford has much more in his latest Insider-only piece, and we’ll hit the highlights here:

  • The Cavs and Bobcats appear to be the only teams capable of trading away a 2014 lottery pick that would actually do so, according to Ford. If the Cavs are determined to make a playoff push, they’ll offer Dion Waiters and their 2014 first-round pick in search of veteran help, Ford writes.
  • There’s nothing major happening on the Ersan Ilyasova front, Ford hears, naming Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour as the Bucks most likely to be traded. Milwaukee is reluctant to let go of Caron Butler, who’s a native of nearby Racine, Ford adds.
  • The Sixers want “significantly” more than just a first-round pick for Thaddeus Young, which has been dissuading some teams from trading for him, Ford writes.
  • Jeff Green and Brandon Bass are the names that come up most frequently in trade discussions involving the Celtics, according to Ford.
  • Several GMs tell Ford that the Lakers appear willing to discuss any player on their roster short of Kobe Bryant.
  • Everyone outside of DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas is available from the Kings, with Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry and Jimmer Fredette the primary bait, Ford writes.
  • It’s unlikely the Jazz trade Gordon Hayward, Ford says, naming Marvin Williams as the team’s most likely trade candidate.
  • Teams are looking to acquire a package of both Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey, but the Pistons remain unwilling to deal Monroe, as multiple GMs tell Ford.

Eastern Notes: Sixers, Magic, Grant

February 15 at 9:01pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Former Cavs GM Chris Grant has been taking a lot of heat for the state of the franchise. The team has underachieved and not all of his moves worked out, but Grant did a much better job than he’s getting credit for, writes Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. Grant walked into one of the worst situations in professional sports, opines Lloyd. Shortly after he was named GM, LeBron James departed and the rest of the roster was in shambles. The team had no pick in that summer’s draft and no players of real value left to trade away and begin the rebuilding process. According to Lloyd, Grant restocked an organization bereft of young talent and future draft picks and he never lost a trade. Grant isn’t employed anymore because the Cavs played terribly for most of this season given the preseason expectations, but those expectations existed thanks to the remarkable work he did for the past three years.

More from around the east:

  • The Sixers have been rumored to be actively shopping Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, and Spencer Hawes. The team isn’t expected to retain Turner and Hawes past this summer, and would like to get something in return for them. Tom Moore of The Bucks County Courier Times examines how likely GM Sam Hinkie is to make a trade before Thursday’s deadline.
  • Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com has a different opinion on the possibility of the Sixers moving Turner. He tweeted that Turner wasn’t very likely to be moved by the deadline. The team is trying to get a first-round pick for him, and the Sixers are going to have trouble wrangling one in a trade.
  • The Magic aren’t expected to be players at the trade deadline, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Kyler says they will listen to offers, but aren’t pushing to make any deals.
  • Kyler also tweets that Arron Afflalo isn’t likely to be going anywhere. The Magic view him as a piece that fits their big picture plan, and his age and reasonable contract are a plus. Afflalo is averaging 19.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.7 APG, in 36.5 MPG. Chuck Myron had profiled him as a trade candidate earlier this month.

Kyler’s Latest: Carmelo, Magic, W’s, Kings

February 12 at 10:00am CDT By Chuck Myron

Lottery picks will be hard to come by at the deadline, which means there’s a strong chance that clubs, like the Sixers, with hopes of trading for one will have to settle for less, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Kyler has a lot more from around the league in his latest NBA AM piece, as we detail:

  • Knicks executives have had a “very open and candid dialogue” about the notion that Carmelo Anthony could leave as a free agent this summer, but they remain confident enough in re-signing him that they’re not looking to trade him at the deadline, Kyler writes. New York appears intent on adding to its roster rather than selling off assets, Kyler observes, though the Knicks are still reluctant to include a draft pick in a deal for either Kenneth Faried or Kyle Lowry.
  • The Magic are open to moving Glen Davis, but there’s essentially no market for him because of concerns about his attitude and his contract, which pays him $6.6MM next season, Kyler writes. Orlando is listening to offers for Jameer Nelson, too, but the Magic’s unwillingness to take back long-term money makes it a long shot he’ll be dealt. Nelson’s deal, which gives him $8.6MM this season, is an impediment to a deal, too, according to Kyler, even though it’s partially guaranteed for just $2MM next year. Orlando also continues to rebuff offers for Arron Afflalo.
  • The Warriors are interested in acquiring players who are either on expiring contracts or relatively short-term deals, and in spite of last month’s trade for Jordan Crawford, they continue to look around for point guard help, according to Kyler. They’re also looking to acquire draft picks, Kyler adds.
  • The Kings remain the front runners for Andre Miller, Kyler says, though Miller’s lack of value on the market is making Denver hesitate. The Basketball Insiders scribe also reiterates that Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette are prime trade candidates for Sacramento and adds Aaron Gray to that list.
  • Executives from the Magic, Wizards, Pacers and Grizzlies are downplaying their willingness to make deadline trades, but all of those teams are nonetheless on the lookout for some kind of deal between now and next Thursday.

Eastern Notes: Magic, Cavs, Knicks

February 11 at 6:55pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Magic GM Rob Hennigan tells Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel that he’s not actively looking to pursue deals right now: “We’re exploring all options that may improve our team…But in terms of aggressively, actively trying to do something? I would say no [we're not].” 

In that same piece however, Robbins adds that Orlando could make at least one move before the deadline, and much of the trade speculation has revolved around Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, and Glen Davis. Afflalo – whose 19.6 PPG and 5.0 FTA this season represent career bests – is likely drawing the most interest at this point.

Here’s more out of the Eastern Conference this evening:

  • Looking at what he calls a “mess” in Cleveland, Ric Bucher of the Bleacher Report revisits some of the Cavaliers’ roster decisions since Kyrie Irving‘s arrival in order to describe how they got to this point, including their decision to bypass Jonas Valanciunas in the 2011 draft, hiring Mike Brown, and failing to provide a veteran mentor for Irving. In spite of this, he believes there’s still time to right the ship, especially if the front office- led by interim GM David Griffin – can piece together a roster that compliments rather than saddles Irving.
  • Frank Isola of the New York Daily News doesn’t buy speculation about Knicks owner James Dolan considering a Carmelo Anthony trade to the Bulls, and thinks that the seven-time All-Star will ultimately stay in New York beyond this summer. Even if Anthony were to bolt, Isola doesn’t believe it’d be the end of the world; with Andrea Bargnani, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler coming off the books in 2015, New York could target a star like Kevin Durant with their ample cap space (All Twitter links).
  • ESPN New York’s Ian Begley weighs in on the rumblings surrounding Iman Shumpert and Kenneth Faried from the Knicks’ persepctive, saying that acquiring Faried – though he’d be a plus – doesn’t address their backcourt needs and cuts into their 2015 cap flexibility.
  • As for the Wizards’ reported interest in Beno Udrih, Begley notes that a one-for-one swap for either Glen Rice Jr. or Al Harrington is feasible, but only from a salary-matching standpoint. Regardless, I think Begley would agree that Washington probably wouldn’t be open to giving up a 23-year-old prospect like Rice Jr. in order to solely acquire a 31-year-old backup point guard.

Amick On Expected Buyers, Sellers At Deadline

February 7 at 10:12pm CDT By Cray Allred

In his most recent column, Sam Amick of USA Today passed on a lot of information gathered from six NBA executives speaking anonymously regarding what he thinks will be a “very active swapping season.” Talk includes teams from around the league looking to win now or bolster rebuilding efforts. The entire article is worth the read, but here is a brief roundup:

      • The Knicks “have decided to think big” as the deadline approaches, and believe that the CelticsRajon Rondo is more available than Boston general manager Danny Ainge is letting on. Trading Carmelo Anthony is not being given serious consideration, despite all the speculation surrounding his willingness to re-sign this summer.
      • Rival executives think that if Ainge were to make any Rondo move, he would wait until just before the deadline to do so.
      • The Pelicans are thought to be willing to trade Eric Gordon, although moving the two-year, $29MM left on his contract would be a challenge.
      • If the Suns don’t acquire Pau Gasol, Thaddeus Young is another possible trade target before the deadline. It’s also believed that Phoenix would have strong interest in Rudy Gay this off season should he opt out of his player option.
      • The Spurs and Bobcats were mentioned by an executive as possible destinations for the SixersEvan Turner, either through a trade this season or when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer.
      • It’s more likely that the Pistons move players with expiring deals (Rodney StuckeyCharlie Villanueva or Jonas Jerebko, for instance) than for them to part with Greg Monroe before the deadline.
      • The Timberwolves have great urgency to make the playoffs and keep Kevin Love content, and are thought to be willing to part with J.J. Barea, Dante Cunningham, and Alexey Shved for a deal that would help them avoid finishing another season outside the playoffs.
      • While the GrizzliesZach Randolph hasn’t said whether he will opt out of his contract this summer, he has indicated that he wants to remain with Memphis. For their part, the Grizzlies don’t appear to be shopping him. The Suns inquired about the power forward, but were told he wasn’t available.
      • The Magic aren’t eager to move Arron Afflalo, and it would likely take a proven player in addition to any draft picks to pry him away from Orlando.

Trade Candidate: Arron Afflalo

February 7 at 4:59pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Arron Afflalo seemed in position for a starring role when he arrived in Orlando via the Dwight Howard trade in 2012. He endured a poor shooting season and failed to become the Magic’s clear No. 1 option last year, but now he’s finally broken out. The 28-year-old has lifted nearly every phase of his game, averaging 19.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest this year, all career highs. He’s making 42.7% of his three-pointers, and his PER of 17.6 is his first of more than 14.7. All those numbers add up to an indication that he’s finally living up to the five-year, $38MM deal the Nuggets gave him in 2011.

He’s worth more than the $7.5MM salary he’s set to receive through the 2015/16 season if he can maintain his production. He shot better than 40% from three-point range in three of his previous six seasons in the league, so his touch isn’t likely to go away, in spite of last year’s 30.0% long-range accuracy. He’s seeing 14.9 shot attempts per game, only 0.8 more than he took last season, when he scored 16.5 PPG. His assist numbers have steadily climbed over the last five years, though his increased rebounding could merely be a product of needing to muck in for a Magic team that’s declined from 14th in the league in rebounding percentage last year to 25th this time around, per NBA.com.

In any case, it seems like Afflalo, still on the right side of 30 years old, is primed to continue to play at or near the level that made him a candidate for the All-Star team this year. He’s putting up his numbers on the second-worst team in the league, but he’s doing so efficiently, suggesting that his stats aren’t simply a product of his surroundings.

GMs around the league reportedly think there’s a strong chance those surroundings will change soon. Afflalo is perhaps among the most valuable trade assets on the market, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com. The Magic are nonetheless batting down offers, making it difficult to ascertain just how highly they value him, as Ford wrote in this week’s chat. Teams have held the belief that they can indeed persuade Orlando to trade Afflalo, but GM Rob Hennigan is driving a hard bargain.

The Magic and Clippers talked about proposals involving Afflalo and Eric Bledsoe before L.A. dealt Bledsoe to the Suns, and maybe Hennigan regrets missing out on Bledsoe, who’s blossomed into a star for Phoenix in his first season as a full-time starter. It’s unlikely he’ll be able to land an up-and-coming talent quite like that for Afflalo now, unless that sort of player comes as a future draft pick. The Magic already have three extra first-rounders headed their way in the next several years, so relinquishing their leading scorer for yet another might not be appealing.

Perhaps Hennigan could find another undervalued young player as he did last year with Tobias Harris, who edged out Afflalo for the Magic scoring lead last season after coming over from the Bucks. Hennigan dealt away J.J. Redick in that trade, months before Redick signed with the Clippers for four years and $27.755MM, so the Magic know how to find value for a well-regarded shooting guard. Perhaps there’s another deal to be had with the Bucks, who could use the infusion of a fringe All-Star entering his prime if they hope to return to the playoffs next season. Still, Milwaukee appears to be hanging on to its young players this time around, and unless its stance on buy-low candidate Larry Sanders changes, Hennigan will have to look elsewhere.

The Cavs are in free-fall, and while many of their recent first-round picks have underperformed, maybe interim GM David Griffin will be willing to swap one or more of them if the team is still intent on making the playoffs this year. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is high on Dion Waiters in spite of the trade rumors that surrounded the former No. 4 overall pick this year, but if the Cavs can turn him into Afflalo, it would give Cleveland an upgrade, at least for the time being. If Hennigan could convince Griffin to throw in Anthony Bennett, the Magic would have the top two picks from the 2013 draft.

The trick in identifying undervalued assets is you have to see what others don’t. If Hennigan feels confident about a player on another team who would be available, he could put his skills of talent evaluation on full display, but the safer, and seemingly more likely, choice is to keep Afflalo through the deadline. There’s no urgency to trade him, since the Magic aren’t going anywhere this season and he’s not on an expiring deal. Removing him from the roster in exchange for a developing player or two would weaken the Magic in the short term and give them a better shot at the No. 1 overall pick in June, but they aren’t having trouble losing games. The idea is not to carry those losing ways into the future, so Hennigan need not overplay his hand with Afflalo, an asset on the rise.

Odds & Ends: Cavaliers, Nelson, Afflalo, Melo

February 5 at 11:26pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Tonight might have been the low point of the season for the Cavaliers. Cleveland fell by double digits at home to an ice-cold Lakers squad that ended the contest with only five available players. Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio writes that the Cavs are in desperate need of an immediate change, even if it means making a difficult personnel decision. Here’s a look at some other notable tidbits from the NBA’s Wednesday night:

  • Jameer Nelson has been mentioned in various trade rumors, but the longest tenured Magic player says he hasn’t had any discussions with management about the possibility of being shipped away from Orlando, reveals Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel
  • Schmitz also passes along in the same piece that he hears Magic GM Rob Hennigan would be “comfortable” retaining both Nelson and the often discussed Arron Afflalo through the deadline.
  • Add Carmelo Anthony‘s former college coach Jim Boeheim to the list of those in favor of Melo leaving the Knicks in free agency this summer. The problem in the NBA, you’re judged on winning championships,” Boeheim said to ESPN Radio. “He’s got to try to go and play where they can win a championship or else he’s going to be a failure. That’s the bottom line.” Al Iannazzone of Newsday has the full story.
  • Rudy Gay is enjoying his time as a member of the Kings and harbors no hard feelings against the Raptors and their decision to deal him to Sacramento, according to Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun. In another piece, Gatner breaks down his take as to why Gay is playing better since leaving Toronto.
  • Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com takes a look at how second-round picks can be turned into valuable assets, either through crafty trades or focused player development.

Ford’s Latest: Bosh, Lowry, Raptors, Afflalo

January 30 at 1:55pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Chad Ford of ESPN.com doubts the Heat‘s three stars will all be back in Miami next season, but he thinks the odds are in favor of the Heat retaining LeBron James. It’s Chris Bosh who’s most likely to leave, as Ford surmises from conversations with teams and agents. The ESPN.com scribe figures lots of teams will offer Bosh the maximum salary and give him the sort of primary role he hasn’t had with Miami. Ford passed along plenty of rumors in his chat this afternoon, including his bombshell on Kyrie Irving‘s private conversations about his desire to leave Cleveland, as we covered earlier. Here’s more:

  • The Raptors are “actively shopping” Kyle Lowry, Ford writes. An opposing GM who spoke to Ford’s ESPN.com colleague Chris Broussard said he thinks Toronto will hold on to the point guard through the deadline, so perhaps the Raptors are talking to lots of teams but still demanding a high return for the soon-to-be free agent.
  • Ford also suggests the Raptors would prefer to position themselves for the No. 1 overall pick rather than a high playoff seed, though it would seem Toronto’s chances of winning the draft lottery are quite slim, as our reverse standings indicate.
  • Arron Afflalo might be one of the most valuable trade assets on the market, according to Ford, who suggests the Magic could also extract a worthwhile return for Jameer Nelson.