The Arron Afflalo experience wasn’t very pleasant for the Portland Trail Blazers, who are hoping the wing man who got traded to the team midway through the season doesn’t opt in and turns to free agency.
Afflalo came from the Orlando Magic as the Blazers were hoping to add some immediate scoring off their bench, something Afflalo has done consistently in his NBA career. However, Wesley Matthews got injured and Afflalo had to become a starting player, which didn’t mesh well with the rest of the first unit. He averaged 10.1 points in 30 minutes a night during the regular season for Portland, followed by averaging just 1.7 points in 20 minutes a night while shooting 16.7% from the field during the postseason.
Afflalo’s player option is worth $7.9 million but it’s not the money that’s putting the Blazers in a position rooting for him to choose a different team. His style and defense doesn’t mesh well with the offense they have going (although the playoffs teach us they might have to change that as well), not to mention his disappointing ability and inconsistent shooting.
There’s also the fact that C.J. McCollum might finally be coming out of his shell. He put on some fine performances in the series against the Grizzlies and when Matthews returns he’ll be the starter anyway. Afflalo all of a sudden doesn’t seem like someone who has too much to give them, especially not at his price and the designated role he has.
The Blazers also need to re-sign Matthews this offseason and there’s the concern that LaMarcus Aldridge will also bolt ship. In this context, Afflalo staying doesn’t seem that important anymore.