The Orlando Magic have only completed two days of training camp as they prepare for the 2012/13 season, but can already see that Arron Afflalo will provide the club with more than mere scoring, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
Afflalo, a five-year veteran, arrived in Orlando from the Denver Nuggets in the four-team trade which sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Compton, California native has increased his scoring average in each of his professional seasons and is ready to take on an even bigger workload for the Magic, likely as their starting shooting guard.
"He believes in his abilities, and the great thing is I do too," said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn, who, like Afflalo, is new to Orlando. "He'll be a leader on this team, and we'll lean on him for sure."
Afflalo averaged 15.2 points per game in his most recent season, ranking second among Denver scorers. In his three seasons with the Nuggets, he's shot 47.8 percent from the field and a sizzling 41.9 percent on three-pointers.
Though new to the Magic, Afflalo has allies within the organization. Scott Perry, whom Rob Hennigan hired as assistant general manager in July, served in the Detroit Pistons' front office when they made Afflalo the 27th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. According to Robbins, Perry told Hennigan before Orlando acquired Afflalo "that Afflalo's attitude would rub off on teammates."
A veteran with a strong work ethic can foster a healthy, competitive atmosphere for a team in the midst of a rebuild, even if nobody on said team is willing to use the r-word. Afflalo, 26, is but one player who figures to fulfill that role.