In what appears to be one of the first overtly team-friendly deals so far this offseason, the Orlando Magic re-signed Evan Fournier on a five-year, $85 million deal. Fournier wisely rejected a four-year, $32 million extension this past offseason, giving himself an annual average increase of $9 million from that offer.
Playing nearly 1,000 more minutes in his fourth NBA season than he did the previous season, Fournier established himself as a starting caliber shooting guard. Fournier had a True Shooting Percentage of .587 and a PER of 14.6.
Fournier scored a very good 1.34 points per possession in transition on 187 attempts. The Magic ranked 12th in pace last season and it would be nice to see that part of their game emphasized more with Fournier, Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja.
Fournier is a good shot creator off the dribble both for himself and as a passer. Fournier scored 0.98 points per possession on isolation with his ability to create separation.
Fournier is an inconsistent defensive player and isn’t terribly versatile switching onto bigger wings but holds up decently on-ball. The Magic were 6.0 points per 100 possessions better on defense without Fournier. Orlando’s overall defense should be considerably better and more consistent next season with the addition of Serge Ibaka and with Frank Vogel as head coach.
The Magic traded away Victor Oladipo on draft night as part of the Ibaka deal, which firmly signaled they saw Fournier as the future at shooting guard. Orlando also did well in reaching a quick agreement with Fournier before he truly hit the restricted free agent market, which would have almost certainly driven up his value and also potentially tied up their cap space away from his $5.7 million cap hold.
Orlando has an interesting core with Fournier, Gordon, Ibaka, Hezonja and Nikola Vucevic. They made some strides at time last season under Scott Skiles and should be competing for a lower seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Grade for Magic: A
Fournier bet on himself with the cap going up in declining Orlando’s extension offer and that paid off massively for him. The rush to an agreement on Fournier’s part seemed odd since he could have received a larger four-year offer from a rival team. The extra year shouldn’t hold as much value to Fournier as he’s only 23 now and reentering the open market at 27 as opposed to 28 could make a meaningful difference for his final big payday.
Grade for Evan Fournier: B+