NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Evan Fournier, Malik Beasley Trade, More
Leading up to the 2020 NBA draft, the rumor mill around the league was heating up, and that led to various trades taking place on draft night.
Now, with the free-agency period set to begin Friday, there should be only more speculation and potential deals circulating in the news as the offseason enters its next phase.
Teams can begin negotiating with free agents officially on Friday at 6 p.m. ET, less than 48 hours after this year's draft. And there's little more than a month until the start of the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22, so it's going to be an eventful few weeks around the league as signings and more trades take place.
With the draft complete, here's some of the latest buzz regarding trades and free agency from around the NBA.
Fournier Wants Out of Orlando?
Evan Fournier has a $17 million player option for the 2020-21 season, and the Orlando Magic shooting guard has decided to opt in for next year, according to The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania. However, that may not necessarily mean his future will be in Florida.
The Athletic's Zach Harper recently reported the 28-year-old is "trying to find his way" to a team such as the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns or Denver Nuggets. That indicates he's interested in playing for a top team, as they should all be contenders in the Western Conference in 2020-21.
Would the Magic be open to dealing Fournier? ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective podcast they would be, so it seems like a deal could come to fruition at some point in the next month.
After spending his first two NBA seasons with the Denver Nuggets, the Frenchman has played the past six years with the Magic, who acquired him in a trade in June 2014. Two years later, he signed a five-year, $85 million deal, which is set to expire after next season and will lead to him becoming an unrestricted free agent.
This past season, Fournier averaged a career-high 18.5 points, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 66 games.
Timberwolves May Not Want to Trade Beasley
Is there room for both Malik Beasley and rookie Anthony Edwards in the Minnesota Timberwolves' rotation? That remains to be seen.
However, just days after Edwards was selected by the Timberwolves with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, there have been conflicting reports regarding Beasley's future in Minnesota.
On Thursday afternoon, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reported the Timberwolves had made the 23-year-old available in trade discussions and the New York Knicks were one of several teams interested. But Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune later reported that may not be the case.
"A report from Yahoo said the Wolves have made Beasley available in trade discussions, but a source said the Wolves haven’t made Beasley available and still want to re-sign him even after drafting Edwards," Hine wrote.
Hine also noted Minnesota believes Edwards has "position versatility given his size and strength" and could also drop down and play power forward in addition to playing on the wing. Perhaps that's a way the Timberwolves could get him and Beasley on the floor at the same time.
Beasley, who is entering his fifth NBA season, was traded to Minnesota from Denver this past February. After joining the Timberwolves, he averaged 20.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 14 games after getting his first opportunity to be a regular starter in the league.
Potential Reunion Between Noel, 76ers?
Entering his seventh NBA season, center Nerlens Noel could be heading back to where his career started.
According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, sources say there's a "real chance" the 26-year-old could sign with the Philadelphia 76ers during the upcoming free-agency period. He is currently an unrestricted free agent after spending the past two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Noel was acquired by the 76ers during the night of the 2013 NBA draft when they made a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, who used the No. 6 pick on him. He went on to play 171 games in three seasons for Philadelphia before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks in February 2017.
Pompey reported 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has "been a fan of [Noel's] playing style for some time, according to sources." Morey was hired by Philadelphia on Nov. 2, so perhaps signing the Kentucky product could be one of his first moves at the helm.
Noel would be a backup to Joel Embiid, but he's been in a reserve role the past few years. This past season, he averaged 7.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 61 games (seven starts) for Oklahoma City.