Southeast Notes: Chalmers, Fournier, Washburn

Evan Fournier says that his focus will not be affected just because he and the Magic didn’t come to an agreement on a contract extension prior to Monday’s deadline, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel writes. “My main focus was always just playing good basketball and winning games,” Fournier said. “And then, of course, the contract is going to follow. You don’t have to think about the contract first and then basketball. You have to think about basketball first, and then everything’s going to follow. So I’m just focused on winning, man.” Not reaching an agreement could become a positive for Fournier since the expected increase in next season’s salary cap will mean more teams will be flush with cash, which could serve to drive up the market for the swingman, Robbins adds.

Here’s more from out of the Southeast:

  • Hornets GM Rich Cho said that the contract extensions the team has handed out to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeremy Lamb, and Kemba Walker were partially about avoiding the free agent market that could become overheated during the next two summers thanks to the expected rise in the salary cap brought on by the league’s new TV deal, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer relays (on Twitter).
  • The trade rumors surrounding Heat point guard Mario Chalmers loom as a potential distraction for the team this season, Ethan J. Skolnick of The Miami Herald writes. Skolnick also opines that the team needs to address the issue with Chalmers as soon as possible to help avoid it becoming an issue between the player and the team. Chalmers indicated that he learned of the rumors when he arrived at the arena on Tuesday night, and he has not heard from the front office regarding his status with the franchise, the Herald scribe adds.
  • Jason Washburn, who was in training camp with the Hornets this season, has signed a deal in Kosovo with Sigal Prishtina, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando relays. Washburn spent the 2014/15 season overseas playing for Brussels, where he averaged 8.9 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 27 appearances.
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