Orlando Magic Player’s Analysis: Evan Fournier
Evan Fournier, Shooting Guard
Contract Status: 4 years/ $68 million
2016-17 stats: 68 Games, 17.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 43.9% FG, 35.6% 3PT, 80.5% FT
PER 36 stats: 68 games, 18.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 43.9% FG, 35.6% 3PT, 80.5% FT
Evan Fournier was the only Orlando Magic player who did not lose his starting position due to poor play. Of the entire roster, he was the only player last year to average more than 30 minutes per game averaging 32.9 last year. Evan is the definition of consistency for the team — especially after the all-star break. Fournier was asked to be the team’s go to scorer and he accepted the challenge. Of his 20 games of scoring more than 20 points, Fournier achieved the feat 15 times after the team elected to trade Serge Ibaka.
What makes Evan Fournier a special player is his ability to improve. During his five-year career, Fournier has never shot low than 35 percent from three or 42 percent from the field. Each year his scoring, rebounding, and assists per game have improved.
According to ESPN’s John Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Rating, he ranks 25th amongst shooting guards and 165th league wide at 13.99. Other notable players in Fournier’s range include Deron Williams (14.02), Manu Ginobli (13.94), and Rajon Rondo (13.59).
Strengths of Evan Fournier
Evan Fournier’s strength is his ability to score. Evan has proved he is a capable three-point shooter. He can drive to the rim when faced with man to man defense. When he does get to the free throw line, he converts at a 80 percent rate. When Evan is locked in, he can score with the best of the NBA shooting guards. As the featured shooting guard for the Magic, matches up well at 6’7 against opposing guards. His height usually allows him to see over the top of defenses and facilitate on offense when needed. In the open floor, he is fully capable to lead a fast break and create easy scoring opportunities for himself and his team.
Weaknesses of Evan Fournier
Let’s face the facts, Evan’s defense is sub-par at best. His deficiencies on defense are due to his poor positioning on team concepts. Individually, he is near the league average in defensive ratings for shooting guards. Contrary to his defensive rating, Evan struggles to stay in front of opposing players as he usually is caught off guard on cuts to the rim and screens. Evan fails mightily when guarding other premiere scorers in the league and the Magic usually attempt to defer to Aaron Gordon in those situations. Fournier simply needs to do better.
Areas of improvement for the Orlando Magic
Next season, Fournier should focus on a few areas to improve his game. While able to score, Evan does not get to the foul line as often as other starting shooting guards. A lot of that is due to his habits to stop and shoot long jumpers or threes instead of driving hard to the rim becoming a contact seeker. In order for him to take the next step, he will need to find ways to earn trips to the free throw line. Next, he needs to adapt more of a defensive mindset. The team has made it an agenda to bring in defensive players this off-season. He will have to commit himself to being in proper positioning for help defense and becoming better in isolation situations. The team was at it’s worse last season defensively with Fournier on the floor.
Despite the Magic signing and drafting wing players this off-season, Fournier is still their guy for scoring situations. He should see a slight decrease in his offensive usage rate of 23.5 percent but should find ways to increase his scoring if he becomes more aggressive getting to the rim.
Projected 2017-18 position: Starting Shooting Guard