Report: Chicago Bulls “pursuing a trade” for Arron Afflalo
It comes as no surprise that Orlando Magic shooting guard Arron Afflalo is being heavily sought after by teams looking to make a leap next season. Coming off the best season of his career at the age of 28, averaging 18.2 ppg and just missingthe All-Star team, Afflalo is the type of 3rd or 4th best player that a contending team needs to go from good to great. The latest team to show interest, in addition to forever reports on the Thunder and Hornets, is the Chicago Bulls.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports published a report this morning citing “league sources” that the Bulls are pursuing Afflalo in a trade. It should be noted that while Woj is the ultimate NBA news breaker and that his sources have long been speculated to be in the NBA front office – in addition to the power agents at play.
Afflalo would offer the Bulls an immediate upgrade at the SG position and his cap-friendly deal at 2-years, $15.5M doesn’t limit their pursuit of an elite free agent like Carmelo Anthony. Chicago also has non-guaranteed contracts totaling ~$4M and ~$3M worth of trade exceptions to make a deal work with Orlando work without sending anything back besides cap filler (non-guaranteed guys like Maxiell/Price/Dedmon).
Bulls Assets: 16th pick, 19th pick, 49th pick in this years draft; draft rights to 2011 1st round pick Nikola Mritic, a 23-year old stretch PF who is one of the best young players in Europe; 2015 1st round pick from Sacramento (top-10 protected through ’17); 2015 pick swap with Cleveland if 15-30 pick; ’15 and ’16 second round picks from Portland.
With Chicago having a reported desire to not carry two rookie-contracts on their cap next year, any deal would seem to built around the 16th or 19th pick in this draft. For Orlando, this would create even more flexibility on draft night to move as the draft unfolds. Perhaps they move up one or two spots to get Wiggins/Parker/Exum and now they can dangle an additional mid-round pick. Perhaps they package their 12th pick with the 16 or 19 to move up within the top 10 to grab a player like Marcus Smart or Elfrid Payton. Perhaps it gives them flexibility to draft a player like Saric at 12 and let him stay in Europe for a year or two.
The goal is about flexibility and any trade for Afflalo will certainly be centered around getting the best package of assets that creates that flexibility. It’s the process.
The best news about any of this for the Orlando Magic is that Afflalo’s price continues to be driven up. It’s unlikely that he will ever gain more in return than if he is traded prior to draft night. Trading him now allows him to go through a full offseason, training camp and season with his new team – and prevents any decline in value that could come from an injury or drop off in play.
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