NBA Rumor: Evan Fournier Free Agency

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4 months ago via

Fournier, however, isn’t ready to talk about the offseason yet, although he said he was open to the idea of re-signing. “Obviously yes but that’s not my focus at all, to be honest,” Fournier said. “My focus right now is just to learn the plays, learn how to play with my teammate, and win games. Obviously, if I can have success here and help the team win and have an impact on winning, that’s too forward. I like to stay in the present, stay in the moment. Just help the team win tonight.”

It’s time for a roster reset in Orlando, which looks likely to finish with top-five lottery odds after squeaking into the playoffs the past two seasons. According to a source, Evan Fournier has made it clear that he has no intention to re-sign with the Magic as a free agent this summer, so Orlando might as well get something in return for a player efficiently averaging 19.1 points per game. Gordon, who has a season remaining on his contract, is commanding a lot of interest.


But DeRozan is more likely to opt in with the Spurs. Among the likely free agents, there aren’t any five-alarm guys, but I do think Evan Fournier has a bit of a warning flag attached. He’s coming off a career year at 27 that featured shooting percentages far above his career norms, so he’s likely to regress. That would have a rebuilding Knicks team buying into a declining commodity. I have him projected at a $12.5 million value next season and likely to go further downward from there, and he’s going to get way more than that if he chooses free agency. (Fournier has a player option for $17.1 million.) He’s not a bad player, but he’s the wrong one for a team like the Knicks.

Evan Fournier ($17.2 million) could also see a nice raise or at least an incremental one. There should be suitors for him despite the dry market. His playmaking and scoring ability gives him a rotation spot on just about every team with or without cap space. He should be considered an extension candidate ahead of free agency as he currently can extend with the Magic for up to a maximum of $92.2 million between 2020-21 and 2023-24. If he opts out and is not offered long-term security, he could probably still earn more than $17.2 million on a one-year deal. Whether he opts out or not, he’s in an excellent position heading into the offseason because of his options.

The Orlando Magic believed in the talents of Evan Fournier so much so in 2014 that they willingly traded their then-leading scorer, Arron Afflalo, for the promising guard. Then, after watching Fournier blossom into one of their core pieces over the past two seasons, the Magic headed into this offseason determined to do whatever it took to retain the restricted free agent. GM Rob Hennigan, who found Fournier two seasons ago and promised earlier this offseason to re-sign Fournier, proved true to his word by keeping Fournier in Orlando.

Q: With Evan Fournier, the team faces a similar scenario to what the team faced with Tobias Harris last year. How will the team approach what appears to be restricted free agency on the horizon for Fournier? Rob Hennigan: We really value Evan. We’ve said that all along, and I’ll say about Evan what we said about Tobias, which is it’s our intention that he’ll be here for many years to come. We really, really like him and think he’s a great piece to continue to grow with our team.

For the first time in his NBA career, Magic SG Evan Fournier is in the last year of his rookie contract and can become a restricted free agent. He admits he can’t help but think about it occasionally. “Of course. It is in the back of your mind,” Fournier said. “You are trying to play your best basketball. When I started playing basketball, it’s about winning championships and being a great player. That’s what really motivates me, being great. I don’t want to be a mediocre player or average. I know if I have a very good season, the money is gonna follow.”

Fournier, who is in his fourth NBA season, was eligible to sign a contract extension with the Magic as long as it was finalized by Monday’s midnight deadline. No agreement was reached, meaning that the versatile wing player will become a restricted free agent on July 1. Orlando will have the right to match any contract offer that Fournier agrees to if it so chooses. “The focus is on winning,’’ Fournier said. “(Not getting the contract extension) is really no difference to me. I’m about playing basketball and winning and not contracts. It’s going to take care of itself this summer.’’
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