Orlando Magic Player’s Analysis: Arron Afflalo
Arron Afflalo, Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Contract Status: 1 years/ $2.3 million
2016-17 stats: 61 games, 8.4 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 44.0% FG, 41.1% 3PT, 89.2% FT
PER 36 stats: 61 games, 11.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 44.0% FG, 41.1% 3PT, 89.2% FT
After his first stint with the Orlando Magic, Arron Afflalo has played for four different teams. Last season was spent with the dysfunctional Sacramento Kings. Prior to that, he played for the New York Knicks who aren’t much better when it comes to functionality. Afflalo was passed from team to team because he has qualities that many teams seek. He is a great locker room presence for young teams. He displays genuine passion for his team and gives 100 percent effort on a nightly basis. Arron Afflalo is the type of player that fits in every system. His toughness and defense are skills that are needed on all NBA teams.
The news that the Orlando Magic were bringing Arron Afflalo back to town came as a surprise to many. Orlando did not have much cap space to work with this summer and had been fairly quiet on the free agent market. Making a splash by signing Jonathon Simmons would have been a good offseason, but Orlando was able to make a few extra moves. Bringing in Afflalo added exactly what Jeff Weltman and John Hammond were looking for, a veteran shooter. Not all veterans are made equal though. Jeff and John have said numerous times throughout this offseason that they want guys that will play for each other. Arron Afflalo is the prototype of that player.
Strengths of Arron Afflalo
Arron Afflalo throughout his career has been known for his defense. Afflalo is a solid defender on the perimeter and has no problem covering shooting guards or small forwards. His toughness is something this young Orlando team has been missing during this rebuild process. Afflalo also provides shooting that the Magic have lacked. Now that he is over the age of 30, Afflalo has adapted his game to be more of a “3-and-D” type of player. He will not be asked to carry the offensive load like he had to in his first go around with Orlando. His focus will be on hitting open shots and playing aggressively on defense.
Off the court, Afflalo is a leader by example. His work ethic and professionalism are traits valued by the new Magic management. He has already set the tone for this season. Afflalo had this to say about his return to Orlando, to John Denton of Orlandomagic.com
“I can’t speak on numbers, minutes and stats and stuff, but effort-wise I’m going to be there every night,’’ he said. “I’ve lost 15 pounds already this offseason and I’m just truly committed. I want to give the guys an example of true commitment to your team, to your teammates and to your city. When you give that highest level of commitment, you can reap some very good rewards. I’m just really excited to play, period.’’
Weaknesses of Arron Afflalo
Afflalo has never been known for his athleticism. On the offensive end, he tends to settle for jump shots instead of attacking the rim. That has become even more frequent as he has gotten older. Afflalo is good at scoring the ball but could do better with getting to the free throw line if he attacked the basket more. While this is a weakness that can be improved, don’t count on it. Afflalo likely will not be asked to attack often. Younger teammates like Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross will be doing more of the penetration allowing Afflalo to hangout on the perimeter.
Expectations for Arron Afflalo
Arron Afflalo signed a one year deal with the Orlando Magic. By looking at the love expressed for Orlando through his social media accounts, he wants to be there for longer than one year. Afflalo will use this year in Orlando to prove that he is the veteran leadership needed to get this young team moving in the right direction. The Magic finished last season with Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross starting at the wing positions. Orlando also waited patiently and signed free agent Jonathon Simmons. Add Mario Hezonja and Wesely Iwundu to the mix and the depth at the wing position is pretty crowded. Afflalo will push these younger guys and help them become better professionals.
Afflalo has the best three-point shooting percentage out of all the guys listed. That alone will get him time on the court. Being able to knock down the open triple when Elfrid Payton dishes to the corner will be key. Orlando lost the often injured Jodie Meeks to the Washington Wizards and Afflalo will likely fill his role consistently.
Projected 2017-18 position: Reserve Shooting Guard