The Orlando Magic are in the middle of a rebuild, and they entered the 2013-14 season with very low expectations. Record-wise, things have pretty much played out as expected. The Magic have the third-worst record in the league and are poised for yet another high draft pick after selecting Victor Oladipo No. 2 overall in 2013.
But despite the poor record, Orlando has shown some promise. Oladipo has displayed flashes of brilliance, and there are other quality young players in place like Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris. And with a high pick in the much ballyhooed 2014 draft almost a certainty, even more young talent will be added.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the season has been the play of Arron Afflalo, who had a legit argument to be an All-Star. The 28-year-old is having by far the best season of his career and is on a very affordable contract.
As the trade deadline nears, the rebuilding Magic could certainly be players, looking to trade veterans for assets.
Should the Magic try to move Afflalo?
Afflalo is making $7.5 million this year and is set to make the same over the final two years of his contract, with the last season being a player option.
Because of this, one would think Afflalo would draw plenty of interest. And while those same reasons could also give the Magic every reason to keep him, maybe they'd rather sell high and help clear the way for more playing time for Oladipo.
But for now, there's not much happening on the Afflalo front. USA Today's Sam Amick says teams have yet to come hard after Afflalo, and even if suitors do step forward, the Magic "aren't eager" to move him.
Nelson, Davis on the block
While the Magic may not be eager to move Afflalo, they're trying to find takers for two other veterans, Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis. However, Amick says Orlando hasn't gotten anywhere substantial just yet in terms of dealing those two players.
Nelson is making $8.6 million this season and can almost be considered an expiring contract because he's only guaranteed $2 million next year in the final year of his deal. If he's not waived on or before July 15, that $2 million guaranteed becomes $8 million guaranteed.
Nelson is still a productive player, but at the age of 32, it's hard to see where he fits into the Magic's plans for next year at $8 million. He could be of some use to a contending team, and if Orlando can extract an asset in return, a trade seems like a no-brainer.
Like Nelson, Davis is an obvious candidate to move. The burly power forward has had his moments in Orlando, but he has also dealt with injuries and is often prone to taking bad shots. Simply put, he's not really a starting-caliber power forward for a good team.
But Davis isn't a bad player, and he can be a more effective contributor as more of a role player. Teams may not like Davis at $6.4 million and $6.6 million next year, but perhaps somebody will be willing to take a flyer on him.