Arron Afflalo has been mentioned ad nauseam as a potential backup plan if the Bulls don't land Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love, and Chicago is apparently pursuing the Magic shooting guard, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Afflalo is coming off the best season of his career in Orlando, averaging 18.2 points while shooting 45.9 percent overall and 42.7 percent from three. The 28-year-old just missed the All-Star Game, which was probably a product of being on such a poor Magic squad.
Afflalo's defense isn't all that great, but that's of little concern at this point in time. If he were to be acquired, he would be the best 2-guard the Bulls have had in years and would slot in nicely next to Derrick Rose, likely allowing Jimmy Butler to move to his more natural position at the 3. The Bulls need shooting in the worst way, and Afflalo would fill that need.
How would a possible trade look? The Bulls, as it stands, don't have cap space, so they'd have to send salary out. The Magic have a ton of cap space heading into this offseason, so they don't have to worry as much about what they take back. Afflalo is due to make $7.5 million next year and has a player option of $7.5 million for 2015-16.
The Bulls could try pawning off Carlos Boozer and one, or both, of their first-round picks to get Afflalo. I feel like it could take both simply because one of those picks would be for taking Boozer off the Bulls' hands. Another option is moving a lower salaried player like Mike Dunleavy and the non-guaranteed contracts to go along with draft compensation.
Of course, there's also the question of how a possible acquisition of Afflalo would affect any chase of Anthony or Love. The Bulls are said to be hot on the trail of Anthony, and nabbing Afflalo would seemingly eliminate any chance of signing Melo with cap space. A sign-and-trade could still be possible, but if the Bulls gave up Boozer and a pick/picks, hard to see how that would play out without moving Taj Gibson and other parts. Perhaps a three-way deal could be worked out? This is also where not having to use Boozer in an Afflalo trade could be useful. However, the Knicks might not be as willing to play ball in trade talks if the Bulls aren't a threat to sign Anthony outright.
As for Love, the thought did cross my mind about the Bulls acquiring Afflalo and then flipping him to Minnesota for Love. But even if that wasn't the plan, the Bulls could still potentially have a decent trade offer for Love depending on what it took to get Afflalo from Orlando. Gibson would still be on the table, and one would think Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic would be as well. It would be tougher without the 2014 picks, but the Bulls could try and include the Kings pick and maybe other future assets.
At any rate, it's definitely cool to see the Bulls in on all these targets. Now it's just a matter of executing. Let's hear your suggestions!