Due to his player option for the 2020/21 season, Evan Fournier will be eligible to become a free agent as early as this offseason, and a possible next contract for him will be one of the toughest decisions facing the Magic, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
As Robbins notes, Fournier is one of the Magic’s top scorers — his 18.8 PPG in 2019/20 represented a career high and his .599 TS% was easily the team’s best mark. However, “many higher-ups” don’t think he’d be a top-three offensive option on a contending team, according to Robbins, who adds that some opposing scouts and executives believe Fournier would be better suited as a bench scorer on a championship-caliber club.
Robbins also points out that the Magic had a more effective offense and a 4-0 record in games Fournier missed this season, though that could be viewed as a small-sample anomaly. Still, it will be among the many factors the team figures to consider as it weighs whether to add another pricey, multiyear deal to its books. Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross are on long-term contracts and Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac will be up for extensions before long.
Here’s more from around the Southeast:
- Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel doesn’t expect the Heat to add another veteran – such as Jamal Crawford – for depth purposes if and when the 2019/20 season resumes. Winderman also explores Derrick Jones‘ free agent value, suggesting it remains unclear whether Miami will be willing to invest in him on a mid-level-type multiyear contract or if the team prefers to retain more cap flexibility.
- In a mailbag for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sarah K. Spencer provides an injury update on Clint Capela, writing that the big man had been participating in half-court workouts before practices were shut down. If the season had played out normally, Spencer notes, there’s a chance Capela wouldn’t have returned at all or would have been on a strict minutes limit. If it ends up resuming in the summer, his odds of making his Hawks debut this season figure to increase.
- Chris Kirschner and John Hollinger of The Athletic teamed up for a two-part look at the Hawks‘ future, exploring whether the team made positive strides in 2019/20 and what its outlook is going forward.