The $73 million experiment that is Evan Fournier has yet to pan out for the New York Knicks and, in turn, the franchise has already axed him from the regular rotation and is expected to try and part ways with him at some point in the near future.
While there’s no telling what such a transaction could end up looking like, if and, more accurately, when it does take place Fastbreak’s Ben Stinar believes that an optimal replacement option for the sharpshooting veteran could be the Miami Heat’s fifth-year wing, Duncan Robinson.
“Miami seems like they are open to dealing Robinson for the right price and being an elite-level three-point shooter, he should absolutely be a player the Knicks keep an eye on,” Stinar wrote.
Stinar would continue by noting that while Robinson’s four years, $74.3 million remaining on his deal is more pricey than Fournier’s three years, $55.8 million, considering the Heat forward is two years younger (28 compared to 30) coupled with his already established status as a mere role player, swapping him in for the French native could be a beneficial move for the Knicks moving forward.
“Obviously his contract is worse than Evan Fournier’s, a player the Knicks brought in to be a key three-point shooting threat, but Robinson is 28 years old, he understands his role as a three-point shooter and he is a smart player on both ends of the floor.”
Though Stinar makes some valid points within his analysis, particularly when noting that Robinson’s career 40.2% three-point shooting percentage could very well help improve upon the team’s current league-worst long-range conversion rate of 31.6%, there’s a strong and rather easy argument to be made that such a move would be wildly unnecessary for the Knicks.
Robinson Trade Not Ideal for Knicks
Since having signed his five-year, $90 million deal back during the 2021 offseason, Duncan Robinson has severely failed to live up to expectations following a career campaign where he posted 13.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game on 40.8% shooting from deep.
After having put pen to paper, he has found his averages and production dropping considerably, as he’s posted just 10.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and half a steal per game on a sub-40% shooting from the field (39.4%).
While his long-range shooting stroke has remained somewhat consistent (36.5%), during this span Robinson has managed to fall out of the starting rotation and into a mere low-usage reserve role where, in 2022-23, he’s seeing just 17.6 minutes a night.
With this, similar to Fournier, the forward is now serving as an outlandishly over-priced bench player who provides little else aside from three-point shooting and has proven to be a dreadful defender throughout his NBA career (boasts a 113 defensive rating through five seasons with the Heat).
Taking all of this information into account, from his egregious $18 million annual salary that runs through 2026 to his one-dimensional skill set, it’s hard to believe that the non-contending New York Knicks should be remotely interested acquiring the services of Duncan Robinson.
They’re already looking to rid themselves of one high-priced headache.
They don’t need another one.
Barrett Has High Hopes for Knicks
During a one-on-one interview with sportscaster, Ahmad Rashad posted on the team’s Youtube channel on November 22, fourth-year wing RJ Barrett stated that, as far as “next steps” go, while All-Star and All-NBA selections are certainly in his sights, when it comes to team goals he stated that he hopes to get the Knicks back to the postseason.
“Team-wise, we gotta get back to the playoffs and make a run,” Barrett told Rashad. “My second year we got a taste of the playoffs and…now it’s all you think about. That’s all you think about. You try to do everything to get back there and it’s some of the most fun basketball I’ve ever played in my life.”
Barrett served as a major factor in New York’s Cinderella story 2020-21 season that saw the franchise snap a playoff draught that kicked off following the conclusion of the 2012-13 campaign.
Through 19 games played in , the Knicks find themselves sporting a sub-.500 record of 9-10 and reside in the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference standings.