The Denver Nuggets have re-acquired shooting guard Arron Afflalo from the Orlando Magic. The Nuggets surrendered Afflalo in the Andre Iguodala trade just two summers ago, along with what is now the 12th pick in this draft. The Nuggets were able to get Afflalo back without giving up a first-round pick ... sort of. Here is the deal from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
Orlando has agreed to send Arron Afflalo to Denver for Evan Fournier and 56th pick in 2014 Draft, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 26, 2014
Sad to hear that 21 year old shooting guard Evan Fournier has been included in this deal, but Afflalo is an upgrade from the "right now" stand point. Afflalo, will be 29 years old on Oct. 15th, scored a career high 18.2 points per game last season for the Magic and will be expected to start for the Nuggets this season as it's likely that Randy Foye moves to the bench. Afflalo shot a career best 42.7% from three-point range on a career high 4.1 attempts per game.
The Nuggets have been looking for help in two areas: first, perimeter defense. Afflalo always gives good effort on the defensive end, but has mixed results in that area. He's not a lockdown defender, but he does hound guys and can do what Brian Shaw wants: make guys take difficult jumpers. Second, the Nuggets need more outside shooting and Afflalo gives Denver not only a deadeye shooter, but a guy that can also create his own shot, get to the rim, and be a playmaker with the ball in his hands.
Afflalo was rumored to be a part of a few different plans. The Bulls were rumored to be looking at AAA for the 16th and 19th picks and the Cavaliers were rumored to be in talks to move the no. 1 pick for AAA and the 4th and 12th picks. The Nuggets surrendered a promising shooting guard in the deal in Fournier. Evan will be 22 years-old in October and showed some promise coming off the bench for the Nuggets. Fours scored 15+ points 12 times this past season and was a good outside shooter as he shot 40% and 37% from deep in his first two seasons in the league.
From our friends at the Orlando Pinstriped Post:
Afflalo is due $7.5 million in the 2014/15 season, with a player option for $7.5 million the following year, according to ShamSports' salary database. Afflalo seems likely to decline that option.
The Nuggets sent out $1.4 million in this deal, so it would appear they will use the Andre Iguodala Traded Player Exception of $9.8 million to absorb Afflalo here. They'll have some money left on the TPE to make other moves if need be. This deal also won't be official until after the draft is over, according to Woj.
It's a bit curious as to why the Nuggets are giving up on a 21 year old for a 28 year old, but the team wants to make a playoff push and Afflalo, like I said above, will be a starter and big minute player for Denver. The Nuggets can now bring Foye off the bench and can even play Foye at point guard while Nate Robinson rounds back into form, coming off ACL surgery. This move doesn't solve any roster issues for the Nuggets, other than the team surrendering the 56th pick in the draft this season (likely would have been a draft and stash player).
This deal could also be part of larger plans the Nuggets have today as the team still has the 11th pick in the draft. Stay tuned.