Aaron Afflalo's biological clock is ticking. He's not a supestar, not even a star. He's a good player who likely won't make too many waves about his location, but he it appears he noted to the Orlando Magic that both sides might be better off if he were to move on rather than to stick around in a rebuilding effort.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
Orlando's classy leading scorer wouldn't mind being moved to a playoff team. The clock is ticking loudly on his career as he'll turn 29 in October.
The Magic can select a point guard at No. 4 this month, perhaps a signal that Victor Oladipo would move to Arron's position full-time. Afflalo could be in play at the June 26 draft. Chicago, Charlotte, Phoenix and Oklahoma City could use two-guards and have multiple first-round picks.
The Magic could deal him at the February trade deadline, the way they did J.J. Redick, in 2013.
Afflalo is one of the NBA's best bargains, scheduled to earn $7.5 million next season.
Aaron Afflalo's a good player. A good fit for what Chicago needs at SG as well. He's also just the right age to bring in for a team looking to contend right now which the Bulls are likely attempting to do. On top of that, Orlando's likely more than willing to trade him.
It's therefore a shame that despite having some assets available, there's no logical way to acquire Afflalo that makes sense for Chicago. Part of the problem is that he's on such a good contract.
Since he only makes 7.5 million next season, which is a couple million less than he might earn on the open market, Orlando won't have a whole lot of incentive to simply dump him to remove his salary. He's a good player on a good deal. Maybe they'd move him for a first rounder and an expiring deal, but do the Bulls want to give up a first for Afflalo?
Since he's on a team friendly deal but has a player option after year one, the Bulls would be giving up that first rounder for a one year rental on Afflalo before deciding whether to reup. Afflalo will then likely earn in the 10-12 million range but have the same issue as Luol Deng.
Afflalo probably fits the Bulls better than Deng as he can knock down the three, but the fundamental problem of using both trade assets and salary cap room in order to pursue a player who's not going to make a major impact remains.
You're paying near star money for a guy who doesn't have star impact. You're doing it as he turns 30, and you're giving up assets for the privilege. I like Aaron Afflalo. However, giving up assets for him only makes sense if he's got a shot to be the final piece.
The problem is that Afflalo being the final piece only makes sense in a scenario where the Bulls first acquire Love or Melo. There are some scenarios where both can happen (the Bulls sign Melo to a FA deal then trade MJD + Butler for Afflalo as an example), but they are likely fringe cases and will depend significantly on what the Bulls have left after a deal for a secondary star.
Overall, if the Bulls land Melo/Love, then they can explore whether they have the right stuff to follow up with an Afflalo trade. If not, then he's not likely worth the assets it will take to get him here for a single year.
Filed under: Uncategorized