Proposed Evan Fournier Trade Lands Knicks Stretch Big

Evan Fournier, Knicks

Getty Evan Fournier #13 of the New York Knicks during warm-up before the game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The New York Knicks have been shopping around Evan Fournier since the offseason. Will they finally be able to find him a new home by the February 8 trade deadline?

ESPN’s NBA front office insider Bobby Marks suggested a Fournier trade that would land the Knicks a backup big man to help Isaiah Hartenstein and Julius Randle while Mitchell Robinson is still out.

Mark’s proposed trade:

New York Knicks receive: Kelly Olynyk

Utah Jazz receive: Evan Fournier, 2 second-round picks

“I just kept it simple,” Marks said in his Knicks Trade Guide video. “I don’t know if Utah would do that. [It] gives [Knicks] a stretch big, a guy that can make shots, protection behind Randle. Who knows when Mitchell Robinson’s going to come back.”

The Jazz were struggling with a 12-18 record when NBA insider Marc Stein reported last Christmas that Olynyk could be available.

“The 6-foot-11 Olynyk, who turns 33 in April, would seemingly make sense as a trade target for the Knicks as well given New York’s acute need for size in the wake of Mitchell Robinson’s ankle injury that is feared to be season-ending,” Stein wrote in his December 25, 2023 substack newsletter.

The Jazz went 10-3 after Stein’s report to get back in the play-in picture in the Western Conference. Olynyk has been playing a key reserve role for the Jazz. His expiring deal makes rival executives believes he is available despite the Jazz’s recent surge.

Utah would at least add two second-round picks to their deep draft capital for the trouble of swapping Olynyk’s expiring salary for Fournier in Marks’ trade proposal. Fournier has a $19 million team option for next season, which is expected to be declined if he’s traded.

Jordan Clarkson as Immanuel Quickley Replacement

On top of looking for a backup big man, the Knicks’ most pressing need is to fill the Immanuel Quickley void in their second unit. According to Stein, a former 6th Man of the Year is one of their trade options.

“Word is that the Knicks have a level of interest in Utah’s Jordan Clarkson as well as a trio of guards they have been linked to previously: Portland’s Malcolm Brogdon, Charlotte’s Terry Rozier and Detroit’s Alec Burks (a recent Knicks alumnus),” Stein wrote in his January 18 substack newsletter.

Clarkson, the Sixth Man of the Year in 2021, is averaging 17.9 points and a career-high 5.2 assists per game this season for the Jazz. He will command more than Olynyk in the trade market.

The Knicks, though, have a surplus of first-round picks to offer in case the Jazz are willing to listen.

Knicks Hesitant to Pull the Trigger on Dejounte Murray Trade

After dealing Immanuel Quickley, whom the Hawks sought in previous trade talks with the Knicks involving Dejounte Murray, the chances of the former All-Star guard landing in New York has decreased.

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Hawks’ asking price is giving the Knicks a pause as they are canvassing the league for a cheaper guard option.

“People with the Knicks are also interested in Murray. They like him a lot, but I think the price ultimately that Atlanta is asking for is gonna be a little bit too high for New York,” Begley reported after the Knicks beat the Washington Wizards 113-109 on Thursday, January 18.

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