Arron Afflalo was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the 2007 NBA Draft with the 27th pick. After two years in Detroit, three years with the Denver Nuggets and two years with the Orlando Magic, Afflalo is entering his eighth season in the NBA.
Afflalo’s first three years in the league started slow with very little production. He was never a starter for Detroit, but was given the role once he joined the Nuggets and has continued that role ever since. His improvement has been obvious. He has increased his scoring average year after year and has become more and more productive as he ages.
Afflalo is coming off of his most productive season yet as he ended his second year with the Orlando Magic. Unfortunately, it will be his last year with Orlando since he was traded this offseason back to the Denver Nuggets. They clearly have a lot of trust in him since they were the team that originally gave him the starting role after only starting a total of 17 games with the Detroit Pistons in his first two seasons.
In order to give a more accurate outlook on his fantasy value for next season, I believe it is important to evaluate his two years in Orlando and his three-year stay in Denver.
Let’s first take a look at his stay in Denver, which lasted from 2009-2012.
Afflalo in Denver
After spending his first two seasons in the league with the Detroit Pistons, Afflalo found himself in Denver. In his first two seasons, he averaged 12.9 minutes and 16.7 minutes per game, respectively. When he was sent to Denver, he was given a starting spot on the roster and averaged 27.2 minutes per game in his first season with them.
During the 2009-2010 season, Afflalo played in all 82 games and started 75 of those. He was very durable and reliable as a shooting guard. They had a lot of trust in him. He averaged 8.8 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game, 1.7 assists per game, 0.6 steals per game and 0.4 blocks per game. He was very, very efficient on the shooting end. He shot 47 percent from the floor and 43 percent from behind the three-point line, averaging 1.3 three-pointers per game. He also shot 74 percent from the free throw line.
In his second season with the Nuggets, the 2010-2011 season, his minutes saw an enormous increase when he averaged 33.7 minutes per game. However, he was limited to only 69 games and started all of them. He averaged 12.6 points per game (which was also a huge increase from the prior season), 3.6 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game, 0.5 steals per game and 0.4 blocks per game. He stayed very efficient as a shooter, shooting 50 percent from the floor, 42 percent from behind the arc and an impressive 85 percent from the charity stripe.
In his third season with the Nuggets, before being traded to the Orlando Magic, he proved to be even more of a scorer. He played in 62 games, started all of those games and averaged 33.6 minutes per game. His statistics stayed impressive, averaging 15.2 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game, 0.6 steals per game and 0.2 blocks per game. He shot 47 percent from the floor, 40 percent from long range and 80 percent from the free throw line.
Afflalo in Orlando
Afflalo has spent the last two seasons with the Orlando Magic. He was given an even bigger role, after proving to be an effective starting player.
For the 2012-2013 season, he played and started in 64 games. He averaged a career-high in minutes with 36.0 minutes per game. His statistics continued to improve. He averaged 16.5 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game, 0.6 steals per game and 0.2 blocks per game. His shooting was a bit of a set back from his days in Denver, but was still effective nonetheless. He shot 44 percent from the floor, 30 percent from behind the arc and 86 percent from the free throw line.
Last season, his 2013-2014 campaign, Afflalo played and started in 73 games while averaging 35.0 minutes per game. He once again saw increases in his statistics as he continued to improve as a player. He averaged 18.2 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game, 3.4 assists per game and 0.5 steals per game. His super effective shooting came back, especially his three-point percentage. He shot 46 percent from the floor, 43 percent from behind the arc and 82 percent from the charity stripe.
Afflalo’s Return to Denver
Afflalo found out that he was going to make a return to the Denver Nuggets this offseason, which was good news for him. He seems excited, calling it the place he wants to be. That’s good news for both the team and Afflalo, himself. After seven straight seasons of improving his scoring output, it would be kind of hard to go against that.
In Denver, they really needed a starting-caliber shooting guard. Randy Foye had a great season, but wasn’t starting material. He did a great job hitting his three-point shots, but Denver needs someone to help their team win throughout the 82-game season.
Now let’s get to the projections, or rather the expectations, for Afflalo next season. I can see Arron finally getting to that 20 point average for the season. If not, then he will get very close. I think he will do more for his team than he has ever done in his career. I think he will see an increase in rebounds, maybe closer to five rebounds per game. In addition, he will most likely get around 4 assists per game.
On the defensive end, he seems determined to be more effective. He really wants his play to be noticed on both ends of the floor. I believe he will finally get one steal per game and have a block every now and then.
His shooting isn’t a question. He has always been very careful in choosing his shots, which translates to high percentages.
There is no doubt that he could be a starting shooting guard for your fantasy team. Don’t hesitate to pick him up for your team. He will only be a positive thing for you team.