Rival GM Sounds Off on Evan Fournier’s Future With the Knicks

Evan Fournier Knicks-76ers

Getty New York Knicks wing Evan Fournier celebrate a made basket during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

It’s strange to think about now given his current situation with the New York Knicks, but Evan Fournier is only a year-ish removed from playing the best basketball of his life.

Facing an NBA Finals-bound Boston Celtics team on January 6 of 2022, the Knicks battled back from a 25-point deficit to steal a 108-105 win at MSG. And while RJ Barrett‘s banked-in triple as time expired sealed the result and stole the headlines, it was actually Fournier who led the team to the big W.

In 42 minutes of action, Fournier scored a career-high 41 points on 15-of-25 shooting, hitting 10 triples and adding eight boards, a steal and a blocked shot.

Flash forward to now and the career 14.0 PPG scorer has been DNP-CD’d by Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau in two-thirds of the team’s games — and he hasn’t seen the court at all since a two-minute shift against the Brooklyn Nets on February 13.

Given his contract with the team and status as a versatile offensive wing, one has to wonder — will Fournier get another shot at rotational minutes in NYC? A rival GM weighed in on the situation while speaking to Heavy Sports.

East GM: Knicks Trade Options for Evan Fournier Are Limited at This Juncture

Evan Fournier scores CAREER-HIGH 41 PTS in Knicks’ comeback win vs. Celtics 👀Evan Fournier records a career-high 41 PTS with 10 3PM in the New York Knicks’ 108-105 comeback victory against the Boston Celtics. #NBA #Fournier #Knicks ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ espnplus.com/youtube ✔️ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔️ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: bit.ly/SUBSCRIBEtoNBAonESPN ✔️ Watch ESPN on YouTube…2022-01-07T03:04:42Z

As it stands, the 30-year-old Fournier is owed $18.9 million for next season, after which there’s a team option on his contract for 2023-24 for an even $19 million. With that being the case, the GM intimated to Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney that New York would still probably have to sweeten any deal sending him out of town.

“Fournier is in that class of guys where you basically have to give away a first-round pick to get rid of him. And with Oklahoma City starting to get better, there aren’t many opportunities to make that kind of trade,” the GM told Deveney.

“Maybe Utah, San Antonio — depending on how their offseasons go. You could trade Fournier with a pick, he could rehab his reputation a bit, then he could be moved again for second-rounders.”

So where does that leave the respective sides? As the GM sees it, in much the same place that they’ve been for most of the 2022-23 campaign.

Fournier’s Presence Could Benefit the Knicks in Star Pursuit

The GM opined that New York won’t be shedding assets just to get Fournier’s money off their books. Team president Leon Rose may be able to use it in a trade if he decides to go star-hunting, however.

“The Knicks are not giving away picks, and they do not want to give away Fournier’s salary because if they move for someone like a Zach LaVine, they will need some filler salary in there,” the GM said. “And they will need the picks.”

All this points in the same direction for Fournier and his immediate future with the Knicks — “It is almost impossible to imagine him going somewhere at this point. His job for the next year or so is to hang out in New York and collect $18 million.”

Not a bad gig if you can get it.

In 23 appearances this season, Fournier is averaging 6.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game with 35-32-86 shooting splits.

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