NBA Rumor: Evan Fournier Trade

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New York Knicks announced today that the team has acquired guard/forward Evan Fournier in a sign-and-trade with Boston, along with two future second round draft picks in exchange for cash considerations. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We identified Evan as a key addition as we entered free agency and are ecstatic that he’s joining us,” said New York Knicks President Leon Rose, “He’s a great teammate, a fierce competitor, and a perfect complement to our returning players. He wants to be a part of what we are building here, and we are happy to have him join our family.”

Orlando gains a bit more flexibility as they go from $2.8 million below the luxury tax to $4.6 million. They could gain even more flexibility if they move Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier. This was a haul and a true sell-hightrade to net Carter and two first-round picks for Vucevic. This will give them a lot more flexibility and options to build around Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz, and their upcoming lottery pick. Bobby Marks: Fournier has a $17.15M cap hit that will now get adjusted to $17.45M. The $300K increase is a result of 2 sets of bonuses- 2nd rd. of the playoffs and Conf. Finals now being deemed likely (BOS reached both last yr). BOS is $1.6M over the tax and need to open up a roster spot.

Josh Robbins: It’s important to remember the NBA trade deadline exacts an emotional toll for the people involved. Evan Fournier was asked by @The Athletic what the city of Orlando and the Magic have meant to him over the last seven years, and his answers were introspective and emotional. pic.twitter.com/ztZbgikPM0

Ryan Ward: According to @SBD, Andre Drummond has the best odds to be trade before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday: – Andre Drummond: -150 – Aaron Gordon: +110 – Victor Oladipo: +125 – Evan Fournier: +150 – LaMarcus Aldridge: +155

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.

The Orlando Magic need Markelle Fultz to take a leap if they’re going to keep up in the Eastern Conference. Sure, they could hang on to an 8-seed, but what does that really do for them? Jonathan Isaac is going to be out for most of the season, if not all of it. They don’t know what they’re getting out of Aaron Gordon. Nikola Vucevic puts up nice numbers, but they don’t lead to a ton. League sources say Evan Fournier is trying to find his way to a team like the Clippers, Suns or Nuggets.

Like many of his veteran Magic teammates, Fournier attempts to ignore the deadline altogether. D.J. Augustin, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic also said Wednesday that they try not to think about it. Worrying would accomplish nothing, they said. “It’s personal,” Fournier explained. “For myself, I’ve never thought, ‘Am I going to get traded or not?’ because I can’t control it, and on top of that, it’s my eighth season. The first time there’s rumors, yeah, you kind of ask yourself how you think things are going to go. But when it’s your eighth season, it’s your last focus, really.”

We took a straw poll with league executives on two questions: Which player is likely to be moved by the deadline, and which player would you risk draft picks, expiring contracts and young players to chase? The Orlando Magic’s Evan Fournier was the popular pick for most likely to be moved. Holding down the final playoff spot in the East, the Magic have shown no inclination to move the guard, but there will need to be a discussion within the next six weeks on what direction to take. Fournier is having a career season, averaging 20 PPG on 48.1% shooting from the field and 42.7% from 3. He has a $17.2 million player option for 2020-21 that many expect he will not pick up.

“I’m not that type of guy who’s going to think about stuff that I can’t control,” said Fournier, who was traded to the Magic during the 2014 offseason and has been the subject of trade rumors intermittently in the years since. “I’m going to have a regular day [Wednesday], and if something happens, then it happens. But I’m not going to worry about things that I don’t have control over. My parents are in town. We’re going to have a great day. I’m going to come in, do my treatment and get a massage. And if during my massage I get traded, then I’m out. It is what it is.”

With the playoffs all but impossible, the widely held assumption throughout the NBA is that Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman and John Hammond will try to trade some of the established players on the roster they inherited — perhaps 25-year-old swingman Evan Fournier and 27-year-old center Nikola Vucevic — to aid in a rebuild. In an interview, Hammond would not categorize the Magic as sellers. But he also acknowledged that if the team does make a move, it would not be for a quick fix and would likely be “to improve ourselves for the future.” So if the Magic trade anyone, the Magic likely would be interested in acquiring young players or draft picks or a combination of both.

The Magic have been in the NBA trade market for most of the season. The prevailing thought from league sources is while the Magic seem to be open for business, they are not open to taking much back in terms of salary which may make it hard for them to offload some of the contract money they seem to be trying to move. The two names that get the most play in NBA circles are guards Evan Fournier and Elfrid Payton. While the Magic seem to open to ideas on the entire roster, they have been pretty open that they are not doing a deal just to do a deal. The Magic’s stance is that anything they do has to meet their goals of being able to remake the team fairly quickly, so taking back long-term contracts are not in the plan. As the deadline nears, the Magic could move half the roster or make no moves at all.

The general belief from most is that if Orlando can’t find the kind of deals they are looking for, they’ll simply run out the clock on this season and seek a more aggressive rebuild around the draft and in July when teams can absorb contract money into cap space. The name most teams seem to have eyes on is guard Evan Fournier. There is a belief that of all the players that could get moved Fournier is the most likely. The Magic have also seriously gauged the trade value of point guard Elfrid Payton in advance of his free agency in July.

Orlando Magic swingman Evan Fournier has played in the NBA long enough to know his name will pop up in rumors until the league’s trade deadline expires on Feb. 8. So Fournier has a policy this time of year: He attempts to ignore trade rumors. “I’m not going to think about what’s going to happen or where I would enjoy playing or something, because it’s all speculation,” Fournier told the Orlando Sentinel. That’s why I really don’t read this stuff: because you never know what’s going to happen. I got traded once and I had no idea. It really came out of nowhere. There was no rumors. There was nothing. And out of the blue I woke up one morning and I got traded. So I know this is just all talk. You really don’t know what’s going on upstairs [in front offices], so it really don’t matter, honestly. You’ve just got to focus on what you have to do, really. The rest is speculation.”

But victories have been rare for Orlando this season. Like all of his teammates, Evan Fournier has been disappointed by the Magic’s performance this season, and a recent Basketball Insiders article noted that “there is a sense” — ostensibly among other teams — that Fournier and teammate Nikola Vucevic “would welcome the chance to get to a winning situation.” Asked to respond to that characterization, Fournier insisted he has not asked for a trade. “Obviously, as a player you want to win,” he told the Sentinel. “But I will never ask [for] a trade or anything. I’m not that kind of guy. I’m a fighter and I’m definitely not a quitter. I don’t know what they plan to do, but I’m a Magic. I feel like I belong here, and for as long as I’m going to be here, I’m going to fight for this jersey and this city, man. It’s that simple.”

“I’m fully aware that (Wednesday’s finale) might be my last game with the Magic because you never know what can happen,’’ said Fournier, whose career has blossomed in his three seasons in Orlando. “When you lose, that’s really when things shake up and teams make a lot of changes. So, yeah, everyone is fully aware (that changes could come). “I’m not the type of guy who is concerned by that sort of thing,’’ Fournier added. “At the end of the day, my job is to get better and play basketball and I can’t control those (roster changes). To be honest, I don’t even want to think about it because it’s just a waste of time and a waste of energy. Again, you can’t control it, so why focus on it?’’
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Rockets re-sign Dante Exum, waive Tyler Bey

The Rockets have officially re-signed guard Dante Exum and waived Tyler Bey to create a roster space for him, according to the NBA’s transactions log. Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw was the first to report the Bey transaction (Twitter link). With John Wall not expected to play for the team this season as it seeks to trade him, the Rockets were in the market for another point guard. The Rockets’ interest in Exum surfaced on Tuesday.
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