The New York Knicks have some decisions to make before the season begins, and one of them is what to do with sniper wing Evan Fournier.
The Frenchman set a team-record three points for the Knicks last season. Despite New York not making the playoffs, Fournier still had a historic year.
Despite his contract and record year, it might not be enough to salvage his role in the starting XI for next season.
“If the roster stays the same, my best guess is that Grimes will start as shooting guard,” predicts SNY’s Ian Begley.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean Fournier would be traded, and that idea “doesn’t pan out” for Begley.
The Knicks are looking to add shootouts to the roster, as evidenced by the addition of Svi Mykhailiuk, so there wouldn’t be much point trading Fournier away.
“The idea of the Knicks having to trade Fournier doesn’t sit well with me,” Begley said. “Fournier set the franchise record for three points last season. I would assume he met or exceeded the Knicks’ expectations when the club signed him to a four-year, $73 million contract in the summer of 2021.
Perhaps Fournier’s greatest blow is his defense, and poor defense doesn’t bode well for playing time in a Tom Thibodeau system. Quentin Grimes has more to offer in this area, but the rating isn’t there yet. While Begley believes Grimes will get the nod on the starting lineup, that doesn’t mean Fournier will be postponed.
“So I don’t know why New York would be in such a rush to trade him in,” he continued. “The Knicks need more shooting. Trading Fournier would give them less shooting, depending of course on which players get them traded.
There will be interest in a trade if the Knicks decide to go that route and there would be fans who would like to see Fournier traded, but it can’t just be about moving him.
When it comes to the bench, scoring seems to be the most important thing and Fournier could offer that.
Derrick Rose is starting the season healthy, so the two off the bench could form a good backcourt.
For what it’s worth, Begley reports that Fournier shouldn’t have much of a problem coming off the bench if the Knicks decide to go in that direction, but he doesn’t have any concrete evidence to back it up.
“I would assume so,” he continued, if Fournier is doing well when he comes off the bench. “But I have no coverage on the matter.”
Joining him in a bench lineup would be Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickey and Isaiah Hartenstein, giving the Knicks a deep rotation if they decide to play everyone. The only problem is that there is no real superstar on the list, but what they have now could be enough to get them into the playoffs.