Arron Afflalo returned to the court Saturday. He participated in the Orlando Magic's morning shootaround and then started for the Magic when they hosted the Sacramento Kings at Amway Center.

He finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting.

Afflalo had missed Wednesday night's loss to the Utah Jazz and Thursday's practice because he was sick.

He sounded relieved to be back.

"I was looking forward just to coming home and just starting off our homestand on a good note," Afflalo said. "I couldn't play, but it's over with."

Afflalo's absence led to some unsubstantiated speculation from some fans that maybe — just maybe — the team was close to trading him.

That wasn't true. In fact, a league source told the Orlando Sentinel that the team hasn't received substantial interest yet from other teams in the 28-year-old swingman, even though Afflalo entered Saturday averaging a team-high 21.6 points per game and shooting 41.5 percent from 3-point range.

Although the Magic almost certainly would listen to offers for any of their veterans, the team isn't looking to deal Afflalo. He's under contract for this season and the 2014-15 season for a salary of $7.5 million each year. He also has a player option for the 2015-16 season that is worth $7.5 million.

Changing the starters
With Afflalo returning, coach Jacque Vaughn altered his lineup. He shifted rookie guard Victor Oladipo to the bench and employed a starting five of Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, Tobias Harris, Glen Davis and Nik Vucevic.

On Nov. 26, after Harris had played one game and appeared to be recovered from a high-ankle sprain, Vaughn was set to use a frontcourt of Harris, Davis and Vucevic. But Vaughn had to scuttle those plans because Harris encountered an injury setback.

Vaughn now has used the Harris/Davis/Vucevic frontcourt two games in a row, and he might use that grouping for a while.

Moore out
Reserve guard E'Twaun Moore absorbed a knee to his right thigh during Thursday's practice, and Moore didn't play Saturday because of a thigh bruise.

Rookie bond
In the Magic's five previous games, they faced three different rookies selected in the top 10 of the 2013 NBA Draft: Charlotte's Cody Zeller, Cleveland's Anthony Bennett and Utah's Trey Burke.

Saturday brought the Magic face-to-face with another heralded rookie: Sacramento swingman Ben McLemore, the seventh overall pick.

Oladipo, the second overall pick, knows McLemore's game well.

They worked out against each other for at least two teams during the predraft process, including the Cavaliers.

"He's a great player, and he wants to be really good," Oladipo said.

"Through the whole process, I got to know him. He has an amazing story, and he really had to work hard to get to where he's at because he was under-recruited, too."

Helping out
Vucevic donated $10,000 of his own money to Florida Hospital for Children on Friday.

"I just wanted to give back, help," Vucevic said. "It's hard to see kids not being able to live like they should live as kids: at home instead of a hospital. I just wanted to help the hospital get whatever they need to help those kids get better."

Honoring Jent and Brown
As a part of their 25th-anniversary celebration, the Magic aired a video tribute to former assistant coach and interim head coach Chris Jent, who is now an assistant coach with the Kings, and former Magic player Dee Brown, a Kings assistant coach for player development.

jbrobbins@tribune.com. Read his blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog and follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.