In the lead-up to Thursday's NBA trade deadline, Orlando Magic swingman Arron Afflalo joined Ryen Russillo of ESPN Radio's The SVP and Russillo Show to discuss that pending deadline as well as his team as a whole. The full interview is available here.
"I'm definitely appreciative of my situation here in Orlando and it's more a businesslike approach for me," Afflalo said. "If a trade does happen, I'll make the most of it." The Magic held on to Afflalo through the deadline, making no trades of any kind, though they reportedly reached a buyout agreement with Glen Davis later that evening. That buyout is not yet official.
Afflalo has, rather famously, increased his scoring average in each of his seven NBA seasons. As a rookie with the Detroit Pistons, he averaged 3.7 points per game, but in Orlando, he leads the team with a 19.5 average. "Opportunity is definitely something you need," he said, "but you also have to be prepared for it." He described himself as having to be "extremely patient" for the opportunity to showcase those skills, and he finally earned that right once the Magic acquired him in the Dwight Howard trade.
Russillo asked Afflalo to name the Magic's most important player. "At this point, we can't afford to lose anyone," Afflalo said in response. He noted that Nik Vučević is the Magic's "only center," which makes the third-year pro vital to Orlando's success, and also listed himself, though he ultimately took a diplomatic approach to the question: "We need everyone at the moment."
In addition to the above topics, Afflalo also discussed the tension between playing a star role for a rebuilding team versus playing a complementary one for a contender, what makes Rasheed Wallace such a terrific teammate, and why the trade deadline freaks out some players. Visit ESPN Radio to hear the entirety of his interview.