How To Handle Trading Evan Fournier

Phoenix Suns forward Evan Fournier (10) drives as Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) and forward Dragan Bender (35) defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

So the Magic Want to Move Fournier…

 

…but is there a trade out there for him?

 

After a hot start to the season, the Orlando Magic have sensibly returned to Earth. Marc Stein recently reported that they are looking to move off of some players with the most noticeable being Evan Fournier. Fournier has loads of value in today’s modern game. Not only does he hit 40% of the 5 three pointers he takes per game but, he is an underrated playmaker. At only 25 years of age, and at a somewhat reasonable contract, the sharpshooting Frenchman could be a major boost to a club. The only question is: Where?

 

The Pelicans?

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New Orleans would love nothing more than to add a player like Fournier. They are hurting for wing depth that is actually playable. Fournier would start immediately and provide the spacing the Pelicans need to take their offense to the next level. Also, his addition would help recently injured Boogie Cousins decide to stick around once free agency hits this year. Here is the problem, however. New Orleans does not have the assets to land Fournier.

 

The best they could offer would be Soloman Hill, Frank Jackson and Cheick Diallo. Hill and Jackson have not played a game this year and Diallo rarely sees action. Although Jackson flew up draft boards last year, he is not exactly a head turner. The Pels cannot part with any picks as they provide the only way to acquire cheap talent; something they will be desperately looking for once Boogie is offered the max. Sorry, Pelican fans, you will have to wait for that wing player you are perpetually seeking.

 

Verdict: Not Gonna Happen

 

Portland?

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Despite having two of the top scorers in the league, something looks off when you watch this team. Actually, someone looks off when you watch this team. His name is Evan Turner. Although the Ohio State product is a terrific passer and scrappy playmaker, his presence on the court takes away from the spacing that Lillard and CJ could thrive on. Starting Fournier, Dame, CJ and Aminu (who is hitting 40% of his threes) would take this team to the next level. They would have to take on Bismack Biyombo’s contract to make this work, however.

 

Orlando probably says no to this deal. Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan are two cheap, young talents however, the Magic are not looking for frontcourt players. They need inexpensive wings, and they needed them yesterday. This deal would see the Magic save about 10 million in cap space but, is that enough to swing this trade? The mindset is where it needs to be, but the pieces are just not what Orlando needs right now. Plus, I am not sure Portland is willing to make a trade that only allows them to jump up a couple playoff seeds.

 

Verdict: Nothin’ doin

 

Philadelphia?

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Processing. The 76ers should have interest in this swingman, especially if they have eyes for towards the future. Sure, they already have RoCo and Redick. But, Redick is injured, on an expiring contract and could sign long term somewhere else next year. Trading for Fournier now essentially replaces the need to sign Redick and makes their shooting guard spot 8 years younger. Given that Redick will fetch a similar salary in free agency, this trade makes sense. Next year’s lineup of Embiid, Ben Simmons, Covington, Fournier and Fultz could be deadly. What’s more, the 76ers still keep tons of cap space for next year! Even with this trade they will have 30 million to fill out their roster. Somewhere, Sam Hinkie is crying and laughing at the same time.

 

Orlando would love to pick up some non-big prospects. They also shed a ton of a salary by picking up Johnson’s expiring. Korkmaz is a first rounder who has shooting potential. TLC has every defensive tool you could want, flies in transition and is hitting 56% of his threes this month! The Magic get two more throws at the dart board in terms of 3 and D players. Still, they should want a pick to go along with Fournier. Will Bryan Colangelo throw in a first to swing this deal? I’m not so sure.

 

Verdict: Unlikely but, keep an eye on it

 

Phoenix?

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Yup, this is the one. Despite the slow start to the season, the Suns have made a respectable resurgence. Sure, they still are one of the worst 10 teams in the league but Devin Booker has been phenomenal and Josh Jackson and Bender have started to show signs of life. At only 25, Fournier fits both the timelines and needs of this team. As demonstrated by the Celtics and Warriors, today’s game is trending more and more towards positionless basketball. A future lineup of Fournier, Booker, Jackson, Bender and a future pick would resemble a solid core in Phoenix. The Suns have three first-rounders this year and could ship their Miami first to Orlando. Suns fans get something to hang their hat on this season as they look forward to drafting Bamba or Sexton in the draft.

 

Orlando also wins with this trade. They get 17 million dollars to come off of the books. Furthermore, they pick up another first rounder that should fall between 20-25. Cheap talent is key in today’s league. Not only have they been playing Hezonja more but, he has been developing into the wing they hoped they would be. In other words, they may not want to throw another wing into the lineup just yet, and eat into Super Mario’s development. Orlando gets to tank for the rest of the season and see how Gordon, Hezonja and Isaac play together. Shed salary. Gain assets. Rebuild.

 

Verdict: Make it happen, fellas


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