Many were caught off guard when the Orlando Magic traded guard Arron Afflalo to the Denver Nuggets.
Trading Afflalo wasn’t the surprise – most expected the Magic to deal the veteran on Thursday night. It also wasn’t a surprise the Magic sent Afflalo to the Nuggets – they liked Afflalo before they dealt him to the Magic in the four-team trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers and were reportedly very interested in him once again.
The surprise was the the Magic didn’t get more of a return in the deal. All the Nuggets had to do was send swingman Evan Fournier and the 56th-overall pick of Thursday night’s NBA Draft to the Magic to get a deal done. Although the Magic are apparently high on Fournier, it was widely believed Afflalo would at least fetch the Magic a first round pick.
Turns out it could have.
According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the Charlotte Hornets were willing to part with a veteran swingman of their own in Gerald Henderson and the 24th-overall pick in the first round of the draft to acquire Afflalo.
That means this was almost certainly a money issue – Fournier is due just $1.5 million this season and has a team option worth $2.3 million next season while Henderson is due $6 million this season and has a player option worth $6 million next season.
Afflalo is coming off of the best season of his career, averaging averaged 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 45.9% from the field, 42.7% from beyond the arc and 81.5% from the free throw line.