Bensational wrote:Clifford's teams in Charlotte showed something of a pattern to me. Slow start, late season hot start. Second season drop off (albeit with Kemba missing games).
I'm not seeing this "Slow start, late season hot" pattern...plus its a pretty big generalization that can describe half the league. Here is a closer look:
Bensational wrote:Coupled with Vucevic really only displaying this recent standard in a contract year I don't think it's unfair to remain skeptical about Clifford's ability to keep him, and the rest of the team, maintaining a high level of performance. Doesn't make it a conclusion, but it's perfectly acceptable enough data to have doubts.
Totally disagree. Before Vogel's arrival, Vucevic was in All-Star conversation in 14-15 and 15-16 seasons.
If he's the type of person that only tries in contract years to milk as much money as possible; then why did he unnecessarily sign an early extension at team friendly discount (4y/$53m) before the 14-15 season to play in Orlando?
Every player and agent in NBA knew that the salary cap was going to take a giant leap the following summer. All he had to do was hit RFA in 15-16 and he would have gotten a massive payday. That's the summer a lot of players, including many bigs got paid...Biyombo $72m, Mozgov $68m, Noah $72m etc .
24 year old Vucevic (2014-15): 19.3 PPG / 10.9 REB / 21.5 PER
25 year old Vucevic (2015-16): 18.2 PPG / 8.9 REB / 21.1 PER
28 year old peak prime Vucevic (18-19): 20.8 PPG / 12.0 REB / 25.5 PER ...and an All-Star
Bensational wrote:By all expectations we overachieved this season, so expecting that to be the new standard might be too presumptuous.
Not me. This season, I was expecting a 36-37 win season and more if one of the young players took a leap. It turned out to be Vucevic who elevated and got back on the ascent track he was prior to Vogel.
In 16-17 I thought the Magic were a better team that was underperforming and being held back by Vogel's lack of offensive imagination and stubbornness to employ obvious weapons at his disposal creating a poor chemistry on the court. In 17-18, injuries decimated the team. Once Clifford got hired and I saw how patient the FO was behaving, I expected a considerable improvement from this roster.
Bensational wrote: A consolidation trade only returns value if you're giving up consolidated value, unless you're taking back a veteran with a short lease. I'm dubious Fournier will represent that. Gordon certainly could.
I expect Fournier's shooting to return to form. I thought he really improved his defense and his playmaking this year. Josh Robbins' most recent Athletic article agrees with me on his improvement in those categories. In his exit interview, Fournier says he thought he got better as an overall player but for some reason his shots didn't fall this year. I agree with him.
Fournier has been an above average shooter since before he was in NBA. I'm more inclined to think last season was an anomaly, not that he suddenly forgot how to shoot.
If Fournier had shot his career average from 3PT range (.371) instead of (.340), he would have added 5.2 PPG...taking him to 20.3 PPG. Of course that's not reality and purely hypothetical, but it does hint that the space is there for a nice jump in point production.
His scoring/creation trajectory coupled with his entry into peak prime indicate to me that there is good reason to think he continues his ascent to peak (28) in 2020-21.
(14-15) 12.0 PPG / 11.5 AST%
(15-16) 15.4 PPG / 12.8 AST%
(16-17) 17.2 PPG / 14.8 AST%
(17-18) 17.8 PPG / 14.8 AST%
(18-19) 15.1 PPG / 17.6 AST%
Bensational wrote: However, if we trade Fournier now and manage to return a lower cost prospect, that is someone that could be part of a consolidation trade. Even if we only manage to trade him for cheaper role players, those are easier to move in deadline deals. $17M is hard to move unless the player is justifying the contract.
I wouldn't trade Fournier early unless there was a clear upgrade to the roster involved. To me that's absolutely not for a "low cost prospect" that might never be half as good as Fournier.
Fournier is 26 now heading into his peak prime starting next season. He's not a 29 year old Aflallo on an expiring contract; or a 28 year old JJ Redick about to enter UFA in 3 months.
Cheaper role players aren't easier or harder to trade at the deadline. Every trade transaction is unique in context.
I disagree that a 15.7% of cap contract (in 2019-20) / 14.9% of cap (in 2020-21) is hard to move. Average salary for NBA starters has hovered between 16%-17% of cap for many years. Fournier is a proven starter at 26, and will be at peak prime for final two years of contract.
Magic fans like you have undervalued Fournier since the day he was traded to Orlando. He has done nothing but exceed expectations. If he was a high lottery pick from NCAA most Magic fans would love him.
As is evident by actions, not rhetoric - NBA GM's and NBA coaches don't undervalue him. He'll be a valuable asset to consolidate in the coming years.
Bensational wrote: I wouldn't be disappointed with what you're proposing. But I am also open to exploring other options, too.
I'm open to other options, but I'm not open to giving away good assets (like Fournier) for garbage just because of a sector of Magic fans don't like the player