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Afflalo or Redick? The Magic must make a trade

2013 January 21
by Brian Serra

Arron Afflalo and J.J. Redick

The Magic must make a decision. They have two shooting guards on their roster that while both being very good players, still remain as role players. The entire roster at the moment is role players. A team that is struggling to get wins and is in obvious “rebuild” mode, can’t field a winner – or try to shape themselves into a winner – with role players.

GM Rob Hennigan has made no secret that his goal is to gain flexibility. Flexibility comes in terms of cap room and draft picks. Right now, the flexibility isn’t terrible but it also isn’t optimum. The draft picks obtained so far, have little value in the immediate outside of Orlando’s own picks.

So the team is left with a decision. Nobody on the roster is untouchable for the right deal, but the deals that teams will be/are calling on involve two primary players. Those two players happen to play the same position and come July 2013, will likely have similar contracts.

The Magic must figure out a way to trade either Afflalo or Redick by the February 21st trade deadline.

Trading Redick will be unpopular with the already frustrated fan base, but most will understand the unfortunate nuances involved with the “business of basketball”. Trading Afflalo, who I believe is a bad fit for a rebuilding team, will be much harder simply based on having an active contract (3 years, $22M remaining).

The Magic want to re-sign Redick this offseason. He is a great leader and does so many little things well that he makes his teammates better when he is on the court. His size will never change and he will never be a great individual defender, but he understands principles of the game on both ends of the court. Most importantly, he appropriately understands how he fits into those principles. Further, the “J.J. Redick brand” has more value to the Orlando Magic franchise than any other team in the league when you calculate in the off-court marketing opportunities.

Arron Afflalo is a better defender and scorer than Redick. He is bigger and offers more versatility to a coach. But the majority of the time, he doesn’t make his teammates better. He is just a bad fit on this struggling and rebuilding team.

So Hennigan is faced with the fact that he can’t afford to pay two 28/29 year old shooting guards that have for the most part “peaked” in terms of ceiling, a combined ~$15M a year – or the equivalent of the early max contract. One player has to go.

Emotion is involved with Redick. He is easily the fan favorite on this team (page views prove it), but as much as emotion is involved, so is risk. A weaker offer for Afflalo on the surface (cap relief without picks), isn’t necessarily a worse long term deal. The risk comes in calculating whether they can get Redick back for the right deal. If they think some desperate team (it only takes one) will throw a boat load of money at him in the offseason, how can they risk not moving J.J. now for the best deal?

The Magic are not building around either player, so they must decide which guy the team can trust to help best develop the young talent that flows into the franchise in the next 2-3 years. More importantly, they must see which deals offered gives them the best long term value. Both players have value to teams around the league and are pieces that should fit in immediately on competing teams.

What we do know is, they must make a choice. Hennigan, for the future of the franchise, must pull the trigger on a deal in the next month.

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8 Responses Post a comment
  1. DYBIM permalink
    January 21, 2013

    Personally, I’d rather trade Afflalo. I know the odds Redick gets traded are higher, I’ve accepted the fact, it’s ok. It happens, I know we’re rebuilding and want the team to get better.

    A general thought, Tyreke Evans seems like his days with the Kings could be done possibly. Do you think the Kings would take an Afflalo for leadership with the young core around Cousins for a player like Evans? Of course, the Magic would have to re-sign Evans in the offseason, but that shouldn’t be too hard especially if they could off one of Glen, Al or Hedo also. Thoughts?

  2. January 21, 2013

    How about both? Their values are peaking and we don’t need to be good next year. We don’t need to sign aging SGs that won’t be a part of our new team 2-3 years later.

    • January 21, 2013

      I tend to agree with your statement. I’m not sure they’d be able to get the value or PICKS they need to do so though.

  3. January 21, 2013

    I think the Kings are looking for more for Evans than to take on bad contracts. And I’m also pretty sure that he doesn’t really fit into the culture that Hennigan is trying to build. Although a change of pace would be good for him.

    Seattle/Sacramento also probably doesn’t want to take on any salary right now with the pending move. With that being said, I’d be in favor of a straight up deal.
    .. in theory.

  4. Matt permalink
    January 21, 2013

    I don’t believe they need to move either. I think we should if anything move Turk, Al or our TPE for a 1st rounder and that’s it. I just don’t know what I would want back for JJ. We dont wanna ruin our flexibility or construct a team that is TOO young. Our only flawed position is SF and I am big on Maurice and his ceiling. He is 19 and will need some serious experience but I like our chances with him. Also, we play AA at SF a lot at the end of games. I think we just need to preach patience and let our young talent take in the game night in and night out.

    • January 21, 2013

      1) The fact that Afflalo is playing SF at the end of the games causes a lot of the defensive problems at end of games. 2) Turk or Al doesn’t bring back draft picks. The TPE, as part of a facilitator for other teams is definitely the biggest asset.

  5. January 22, 2013

    Trade will come and both can be traded. Rob needs to see first whats available for the Magic.

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