11:10pm: The sides failed to reach an extension by the deadline, as expected, Robbins notes (on Twitter).
9:40am: The Magic aren’t expected to sign Evan Fournier to a rookie scale extension by the 11pm Central deadline for them to do so tonight, sources tell Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). That will set up the former 20th overall pick for restricted free agency in July.
The Bouna Ndiaye client who just turned 23 seemed eager for a deal, expressing his hopes for an extension at the start of camp, though he said within the past several days that it would be OK if an extension didn’t happen. Chatter about the prospect of an extension between Fournier and the Magic was quiet over the offseason, so today’s news comes as no surprise despite the shooting guard’s breakout season in 2014/15. He made 32 starts and scored a career-high 12.0 points per game, though injury limited him to just five games after the All-Star break.
Fournier is making more than $2.288MM this season, the last on his rookie scale contract. His qualifying offer is worth almost $3.279MM, but he has a decent chance to up that to about $4.434MM if he triggers the starter criteria this season. He’s started all three games for Orlando so far this season, and if he starts 41, the value of his qualifying offer rises to the larger amount.
The Magic acquired Fournier from the Nuggets in the summer of 2014, and the French native who was a bit player on Denver’s 57-win 2012/13 team is eager to win again, notes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Fournier is off to a strong start this season, averaging 14.7 points in 35.7 minutes per game, better numbers in a small sample size than in any of his previous seasons, but his mid-range game and his defense show room for improvement, as Dana Gauruder of Hoops Rumors wrote in September when he profiled Fournier’s extension candidacy.
Orlando already has more than $60.5MM committed for 2016/17, so a deal for Fournier would further impinge on the team’s flexibility against a projected $89MM cap. Still, some agents and executives around the league reportedly believe the cap will surge to $95MM.
What sort of deal do you think Fournier will end up with in restricted free agency? Leave a comment to let us know.