Latest posts by Don McCormack (see all)
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While not a big name nor a guy who will be a difference maker for a team looking to make a deep playoff run, the Orlando Magic are rumored to be open to the possibility of moving a young swingman.
Evan Fournier, averaging a career-high 18.0 points per game scorer, along with 3.2 rebounds ad 2.9 assists and shooting 39.6 percent from 3, he, could certainly help a team.
And he, along with a couple teammates, are reported to be available, according to a story by Marc Stein of the New York Times:
It might go down as one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time: How did this Magic team start 8-4? Orlando has since gone a ghastly 4-27, which will most likely lead to a fire sale at next month’s trade deadline. Rival executives expect Jeff Weltman, Orlando’s new team president, to aggressively hunt for new homes for the likes of Evan Fournier, Elfrid Payton and Mario Hezonja, given that Nikola Vucevic’s broken finger is likely to preclude dealing the center.
How about a team such as Cleveland? The 6-foot-7, 205-pound 25-year-old would be a solid rotation piece for any team, including the Cavaliers.
And they’ll get a first-hand look at him tonight as Fournier and his Magic teammates will be at Quicken Loans Arena to square off against Cleveland.
Fournier has three years left at $17 million per on a five-year, $85 million contract he signed in July 2016. The 2020-21 season is an option year for Fournier.
He told the Orlando Sentinel he does the best he can to not listen to 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 said.
“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.”
Orlando acquired Fournier and the draft rights to Devyn Marble from the Denver Nuggets on draft day in 2014 in exchange for Arron Afflalo.
“You really don’t know what’s going on upstairs [in front offices], so it really don’t matter, honestly,” Fournier said. “You’ve just got to focus on what you have to do, really. The rest is speculation.”
With Orlando struggling mightily, now tied for the worst record in the NBA at 13-31 with Atlanta and Sacramento, Stein said in his story that guys such as Fournier and center Nikola Vucevic “would welcome the chance to get to a winning situation.”
Fournier, who poured in a career-high 32 points in a rare Magic victory, a 108-102 conquest of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, denies he has asked to be dealt, even to a team such as Cleveland, which he will match up against tonight at The Q.
“Obviously, as a player, you want to win,” he said. “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.”