ORLANDO, Fla. — After being turned down in their attempt to include Arron Afflalo as part of a trade package to reportedly acquire the first pick in the NBA draft Thursday night, the Orlando Magic instead sent their leading scorer from the past two seasons to the Denver Nuggets.
In return for Afflalo, 28, the Magic acquired shooting guard Evan Fournier and a second-round draft pick (56th overall), which was used on Roy Devyn Marble, a guard out of Iowa. The trade was initially reported by Yahoo Sports/FOX Sports 1 NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
"I’m excited," Afflalo told the Orlando Sentinel. "Since I left there, there’s a completely different change in the management, a completely different coaching staff. I’ve always been very appreciative of the Kroenke family. They gave me my first opportunity for success, so to speak. . . . When you play this game, you play to win and you play to have fun with your teammates and build relationships with your teammates. That group of guys that are still currently there are guys that I’ve had the best tenure with in my NBA career."
According to earlier reports, Magic general manager Rob Hennigan was looking to send Afflalo and the team’s two first-round picks (No. 4 and No. 12 overall) to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the winners of last month’s draft lottery. Those talks fell through, apparently signaling the end of the Magic’s attempts to pick either Andrew Wiggins of Kansas or Jabari Parker of Duke.
Afflalo averaged nearly 20 points per game last season heading into the All-Star break for a team which ended up with only 23 victories, the third fewest in the NBA. He spent three seasons with the Nuggets before being acquired in August 2012 as part of the four-way trade in which the Magic sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.
"We’d like to thank Arron (Afflalo) for his two seasons here in Orlando," continued Hennigan. "Arron is a consummate professional and competitor, and we certainly wish him all the best."
Since the end of the season, Afflalo’s name was mentioned in trade rumors with the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder and Charlotte Hornets.
"You’re always surprised when you get traded because it’s just a change," Afflalo told the Orlando Sentinel. "… I always thought that we could be good now. But things take time to develop, and I believe the management group that the Magic have are smart guys. They’re going to do what’s best for the team.”
Afflalo will make $7.5 million next season. Fournier, 21, will make about $1.5 million.
Fournier played an average of less than 20 minutes in 76 games with the Nuggets last season and averaged 8.4 points and 1.5 assists. Denver took him with the 20th pick in the 2012 draft, one turn after the Magic selected forward Andrew Nicholson. Fournier is a native of France who participated in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit.
"We’re excited to welcome Evan (Fournier) and his family to Orlando," said Hennigan. "We believe Evan’s intriguing blend of talent and skill will be a benefit to our backcourt and to the continued growth and development of our team."
The trade appears to clear the way for Victor Oladipo, who alternated between playing point guard and shooting guard as a rookie, to take over full-time at Afflalo’s old spot. Oladipo played in 80 of 82 games for the Magic after they chose him with the No. 2 pick and averaged 13.8 points, but he made only 44 starts.