Sports Illustrated writer Rob Mahoney is the latest NBA observer to weigh in on whether the Orlando Magic should trade Arron Afflalo sometime in 2014, and his answer is in the affirmative: in a column outlining New Year's resolutions for the NBA's Eastern Conference teams, Mahoney outlines the reasons why Orlando should look to deal its top scorer.
"He's also of more potential help to a playoff team than a rebuilding one, especially considering that Orlando has plenty of roster work to do before making any kind of serious run," Mahoney writes of Afflalo, currently averaging 21.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and four assists per game. "Selling high on Afflalo, then, makes a lot of sense — he's not in any way a problem to the Magic, but his current value could be better redeemed via trade than as a core contributor to a losing team."
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported on December 23rd, citing a source, that Orlando has rejected all trade offers for the seventh-year swingman. On New Year's Eve, Zach Lowe of Grantland reported that the Toronto Raptors could target Afflalo via trade if they decide to make a playoff push, perhaps by offering 22-year-old swingman Terrence Ross, the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, as bait.
In his column, Mahoney also suggests that Orlando tries to deal point guard Jameer Nelson, though he concedes that "[t]here's not much harm in keeping Nelson around."