Eastern Notes: Fournier, Heat, Raptors, Celtics

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Trading Evan Fournier would likely cause a ripple effect the Magic wouldn’t be able to ignore, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who suggests a Fournier deal could ultimately lead to the team trading Aaron Gordon for a starter-caliber shooting guard.

Fournier is averaging a career-high 18.5 points and 3.8 assists per game this season, shooting 45% from the floor and 37% from three-point range. The Magic could explore moving the 28-year-old ahead of the March 25 trade deadline this season.

Should the Magic choose to keep Fournier, he would become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Hampered by injuries and inconsistency, the club currently owns the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference at 13-23, losing five straight games.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald examines where the Heat‘s young players stand entering the All-Star break. Jackson explores the production of Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson this season, all three of whom have shown serious potential during their time with Miami.
  • The Raptors‘ next-man-up mentality has remained strong in the G League bubble, Blake Murphy writes for The Athletic. The Raptors 905 – Toronto’s affiliate – went 12-3 in the regular season despite dealing with various injuries and setbacks. “That’s absolutely our mantra,” head coach Patrick Mutombo said. “That’s what it boils down to as we do everything, the way we approach everything, there’s just no excuses, no explanations. Just win.”
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston lists six takeaways from the Celtics‘ underwhelming first half of the season. Boston holds a 19-17 record at the All-Star break, though the team still has a young nucleus featuring two All-Stars (Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) and has fought through multiple injuries and COVID-19. The club won its final four games entering the break.