Arron Afflalo’s second tenure with the Denver Nuggets hasn’t quite gone as planned. And after being re-acquired by his former team last summer, it seems he may be on the move yet again.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, multiple teams believe Afflalo will be dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a first-round pick:
This seems as realistic a possibility as any trade rumor we’ve come across today. Not only are the Blazers known to covet an upgrade on the wing, but the Nuggets have issued something close to a fire sale of in wake of their surprising struggles.
One wonders what this means for Wilson Chandler, though – he’s been a supposed target of Portland for weeks. Might Denver be more comfortable parting with its starting shooting guard instead of its starting small forward? Perhaps. But Chandler is also a free agent after the season, and this latest intel could also suggest that the Blazers are seeking a more permanent solution to their lack of consistent perimeter depth.
Either way, adding Afflalo would certainly be a boon for Portland. Though sophomore lottery pick CJ McCollum has come on of late, he’s more combo guard than straight wing and certainly can’t ably defend the league’s rangy perimeter scorers. Afflalo is a far better player than either Will Barton or Allen Crabbe, and has still performed better than incumbent Blazers starter Nicolas Batum as the latter has struggled to play through nagging injuries.
The Western Conference arms race is real, and Portland needs to make a move as to not be left behind. Acquiring Afflalo would ensure just that.