Magic wing Evan Fournier could’ve sat out the bubble, protected his stock after a strong regular season, declined his $17.15 million player option and sought a big payday in free agency.
Instead, he reported to Disney World, called out Wizards forward Davis Bertans for doing otherwise and struggled on the court.
So, in what was still one of the few close calls for a player option, Fournier is exercising his.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
If Orlando is trying to win, Fournier will help. He’s a good 3-point shooter who can also handle the ball and find his spots inside the arc.
For the same reasons, Fournier should hold positive trade value if the Magic are ready to rebuild – or even take a step back next season with Jonathan Isaac injured. It’d be risky just to keep Fournier into 2021 free agency.
Among more obvious player-option decisions…
Bucks guard Wesley Matthews
Milwaukee’s Wesley Matthews will decline his $2.7M player option for the 2020-21 season and become a free agent, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 16, 2020
Matthews played well as Milwaukee’s starting shooting guard last season. He’s a tough defender and solid, though not quite ideal, 3-point shooter.
After declining his $2,692,991 minimum-salary option, Matthews could get $3,231,589 from the Bucks through Non-Bird Rights (technically a form of Bird Rights). Milwaukee could also use its mid-level exception to pay him more.
The Lakers are reportedly interested, too.
Bulls forward Otto Porter
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
The Bulls’ highest-paid player since Michael Jordan, Porter has produced when available.
But he has battled repeated injuries. And even at his best and healthiest, he’s not worth $28,489,239.
Pistons wing Tony Snell
James Edwards of The Athletic:
Sources: #Pistons’ Tony Snell is going to pick up his $12.2 million player option. No surprise.
— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) November 16, 2020
Fun Tony Snell fact: He shot 32-for-32 on free throws last season – a record number of attempts for a perfect free-throw shooting season.
The previous high was 25-for-25 by the Grizzlies’ Kobi Simmons in 2017-18. Stephen Curry also shot 26-for-26 on free throws last season.
Obviously, that record is somewhat fluky. There’s minimal difference between 31-for-32 and 32-for-32. Detroit had its season cut short by coronavirus, eliminating opportunities for Snell to miss from the line.
But it wasn’t fluky that Snell attempted just 32 free throws in 1,641 minutes – more than twice the playing time of anyone else with a perfect free-throw shooting season. A good spot-up shooter, Snell just doesn’t have creation ability off the bounce.
That’s a key reason he’s not getting more than $12,178,571 on the open market.
Hornets forward Nicolas Batum
Batum apologized for not living up to this contract. But he’s not so sorry that he’ll turn down $27,130,434 in the final year of the deal.