Aug 10, 2012, 9:52 AM EDT
George Karl loves Arron Afflalo on the court because he was a consummate professional — he plays hard on defense, can knock down the three and gives you his best effort nightly.
Now he’ll be doing that in Orlando. And just like on the court, Afflalo handled news of the trade like a professional.
Here is what he told Hoopshype, who caught up with Afflalo in Barcelona.
“Yeah, I’m happy. I just wanted to thank the Denver organization, the teammates that you play with, the fans, but I think it’s a great opportunity there in Orlando from a player standpoint. With the coaching change and the management change, I think it’s a great time to be a part of the organization….
“I plan on being the best player I can be, period. I’d love to continue to grow as a person and as a player offensively and defensively. Personally I don’t think there’s a better place to do it at this time than Orlando.”
Afflalo is going to go from a role player the coach loves but most fans don’t notice to one of the Magic’s key players the next couple years, along with Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis. Afflalo was a bit player in the Nuggets offensive structure compared to what role he will have now. He’s going to get a lot more shots and has said before he has spent his summer trying to work on his offensive game.
We’ll see how that pans out. But he’s handled this like a pro.