After losing at home to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday by 15, the Dallas Mavericks may want to look into tweaking their roster a bit so that they could contend with the best of the West. Hello, there, Evan Fournier (more on him in a second).
One thing the Mavericks have been lacking all season is a reliable third option on offense. Luka Doncic is a generational playmaker, who paired with Kristaps Porzingis gives the Mavericks a dominant duo. But when the young pair is injured, in foul trouble, or just flat out not playing well, it would be nice to have a consistent third wheel.
This is where Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier comes in, as a few NBA executives view Fournier as a likely trade target. Fournier went off in the World Cup for France and has carried that over to the regular season, averaging 19.0 points per game, shooting 40.6 percent from three, and an 18.7 PER — all career highs.
One of the more underrated players in the league, Fournier has proven to be a reliable shooter in the clutch, but Orlando doesn’t have a whole lot of clutch moments. They are currently in the seven seed, but if the Magic want to avoid the purgatory of being in the NBA’s middle ground, it may be wise of them to move on from the Frenchman.
Evan Fournier is an ideal player for the Mavericks, as when Doncic and Porzingis run that deadly pick & pop set, Fournier could be a knock-down shooter who could thrive on the opportunities created by Doncic.
Fournier would have been perfect for games like Friday’s against the Lakers. With Porzingis out, the Mavericks could have used some scoring in the form of a wing who could exploit guards like Avery Bradley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
As great as a talent Porzingis is, his health will never be a full guarantee. When he is hurt, Fournier is an ideal second-option. That’s what he was last season, and the Magic made it to the seventh seed in the playoffs with Fournier as a second option, proving he is capable of shouldering the load of a primary scorer.
The Mavericks have a lot of contracts that they could move to make the deal work, highlighted when playing with the ESPN trade machine. While they would probably have to throw in a talented young player like Jalen Brunson or Justin Jackson, they could throw Courtney Lee to the Magic. Lee and one of those young players matches Fournier’s salary almost exactly.
As long as the Magic are willing to give up on this season and commit to a rebuild, which is far from a guarantee, Dallas could be an ideal destination for Fournier. Dallas owner Mark Cuban is a savvy businessman known for making big moves, so don’t be surprised if he is pushing general manager Donnie Nelson to deal for a third scorer who can help Dallas contend for a title in Fournier.