Eastern Notes: Fournier, Embiid, Brown, Nene

Evan Fournier turned down a four-year, $32MM extension offer from the Magic before this month’s November 2nd rookie scale extension deadline, league sources told Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Orlando and the Bouna Ndiaye client reportedly never came close to a deal, and Fournier is poised for restricted free agency this summer.

“To be honest, I did not even expect to be extended,” Fournier said. “I had no pressure about that. If there was something good, I will take it. If not, I can wait until the summer. I don’t have to worry about it and make the wrong decision. I have confidence in myself and the season that I’ll have. The contract will take care of itself. You can’t go on the court and think about a deal. You must be focused and you must have the right mindset.”

Fournier doesn’t have his sights set on becoming a No. 1 option for a team, but he’s motivated to put his days as an afterthought behind him, as Charania examines. See more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Joel Embiid appears to be carrying himself with more maturity and seriousness than before, knowing he must commit to his rehabilitation, a source tells TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. The Sixers had reportedly been concerned about his conditioning, among other worries about the former No. 3 overall pick, but he’s been keeping himself in shape, Aldridge writes. It’s a dose of positive news for the 0-14 Sixers, who remain committed to their loss-laden rebuilding plan, as Chris Crouse of Hoops Rumors wrote as he examined the team’s moves from the past several months.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown wondered if his job was in jeopardy a year ago amid an 0-17 start for the team, but GM Sam Hinkie assured him then that he’s a major part of the plan, and the coach has earned respect within the organization for his persistence, Aldridge writes in the same piece.
  • Nene has been a starter for most of his career and has expressed disdain for playing center in the past, but so far, he’s accepted his role as backup center on the Wizards, and his team-leading 18 points Sunday helped show his value, writes Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post. Nene is set for free agency at season’s end.
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