Philadelphia 76ers: Evan Fournier is Worth a Shot

Apr 6, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) drives the ball down court during the second half of a basketball game against the Detroit Pistons at Amway Center. The Pistons won 108-104. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) drives the ball down court during the second half of a basketball game against the Detroit Pistons at Amway Center. The Pistons won 108-104. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

This offseason is a big one for the Philadelphia 76ers regarding free agency. Former Orlando Magic player Evan Fournier is worth a shot.

The Philadelphia 76ers have a huge offseason coming up. With Bryan Colangelo now at the helm of the executive team, he will be looking for any possible options to win over the support of Sixers employees and fans alike, and can easily do so with some solid free agent signings.

Evan Fournier, who spent this season with the Orlando Magic, seems to be a solid option, if Bryan could pry him away from the Magic, who are the clear front-runners for the landing spot of Fournier.

The Sixers are going to overpay for their next wave of free agents, that much we do know. They will have to shell out more money than they should and give max contracts to guys who may not deserve them. That’s the trouble of compiling less than 50 wins total over the course of three seasons. There’s a risk coming to the Sixers, and that risk has to be paid off with a reward. Since the Sixers definitely can’t guarantee wins as a reward, they have to shell out more money.

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Luckily, the Sixer have money to spend, and players have an incentive to sign short-term, quick money contracts with teams that have money to spend while they wait for the NBA salary cap to drastically increase over the next few seasons. From a business and money perspective, the Sixers can be considered an attractive destination for players looking to make some quick — and decent — money while playing the game.

Say what you want about their on-court play, but even from a basketball perspective, the Sixers can be an attractive location as well. They’re building a state-of-the-art training facility and have coaches like Brett Brown and Mike D’Antoni on board to help players develop and lead this team to wins as they rebuild.

Fournier doesn’t seem to be the type of player who will be talking with many teams during the free agency period, but the Sixers do have a lot to offer him, and should consider giving him a call. Fournier, who has spent time with both the Denver Nuggets and the Magic so far in his career, had somewhat of a breakout season with the Magic this year, averaging 15.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. He shot 46 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point zone.

Fournier could come into this Sixers roster and be a starter right away. He out performs the pre-existing cast of shooting guards provided — Isaiah Canaan and Ish Smith — and would get solid minutes from Brett Brown all season long, and start every game that he is healthy for. Bringing on Fournier probably would force the Sixers to cut either Canaan or Stauskas this season, but the Sixers should be okay with that. The way-too-early prediction that I would give is Canaan would get the boot and we would see Sauce Castillo backing up Fournier.

Fournier could provide a lot to this Sixers offense. Although the most obvious need is some perimeter shooting — the Sixers were 29th in 3-point percentage this season — there are needs everywhere. To say that a team that only won 10 games in a season doesn’t have issues just about everywhere would be a lie.

Fournier can offer that solid perimeter shooting, but he can also be a threat near the basket. When Fournier gets the ball outside the arc, defenders are at a disadvantage, because he can either shoot from where he gets the ball, or he can drive in quickly for a slam at the basket. It’s tough to defend him, and he could fit into whatever the Sixers need him to do for them.

Evan is the definition of a player that is on the rise. Although it seems like he is approaching his ceiling with his high performance this year, there’s a lot of his game that seems like it’s only up from where it is. His defense was good this season, and it looks like it will only get better.

Phillip Rossman-Reich detailed the relationship between Fournier and the Magic, and it seems to be one that’s going to be tough to break up. The biggest thing that may cause some tension, however, is, of course, the money, which Rossman-Reich acknowledged in his piece. Fournier reportedly wanted over $10 million a year, which is a pretty high asking price, despite the positive trajectory that he is on.

If Fournier feels that the money is a deal breaker, the Magic and him may not see eye-to-eye on the matter. For a team like the Sixers, and a player like Fournier, $10 million a year doesn’t seem all that bad. Especially given that this is a fairly polarized free agency year — meaning that there are a lot of really important free agents that the Sixers won’t have a shot at and a lot of low-level free agents, but very few in the middle — signing Fournier and another free agent with some of that money might not be a bad idea this offseason, just to get the ball rolling for the coming years of free agent classes.

One thing to note is that Joel Embiid, the Sixers first round pick in 2014 that has still yet to play a single second of NBA basketball, speaks a native language of French, just like Fournier. Those little tokens of home can go a long way when pitching to a player.

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Fournier isn’t getting talked about as a real serious possibility with the Sixers, but I see a lot of benefits for both sides. Fournier can transition from being a role playing starter to a possible star of the Sixers, and he will benefit from their state-of-the-art training facility, coaching staff, and cultivate friendships with other French speaking teammates. The Sixers will get a player that is on the rise, and a player that can really help their offense. It’s worth a pitch when the free agent market opens.