The New York Knicks have been playing with Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose and Cam Reddish in their active rotation for much of the season.
This was a decision made by coach Tom Thibodeau after he decided to cut the rotation to nine players, and he’s largely stuck to the plan. Fournier, the team’s record holder in three pointers made in a season, is in the second year of his four year deal, but signs are pointing toward him finishing that with another team.
While he’s been linked to other teams before, there’s been next to no actual traction on a deal being made. Instead, he’s been sitting on the bench trying to stay ready. After RJ Barrett forced overtime in the loss to the Toronto Raptors, a fan believed he saw Fournier look unhappy.
“Y’all peep Fournier hating on that RJ dunk tho….,” the fan tweeted.
Fournier quickly put those rumors to rest by replying.
“Is this how you start pushing a narrative?” he asked in response.
Fournier Remains a Pro
No player wants to be in a position where they aren’t playing at all, but Fournier has been doing his best to be a good teammate. He draws little attention to himself and when he finally got some game action in late December, he posted on Instagram about how he can’t take playing for granted.
“There is nothing like being on the court with the guys,” he wrote. “Respecting the game is not taking it for granted.”
Throughout his career, Fournier has created a reputation for himself as a sharpshooter, but he’s never been known as a great defender. That could be part of the reason he’s out of the lineup, but he was also having a poor shooting year as well.
In 19 games this year, Fournier is averaging 6.7 points per game while shooting 31.3 percent from deep. Not being able to get into a rhythm could obviously be a factor in those low shooting numbers, but teams won’t be knocking on the Knicks’ door to acquire a player shooting that poorly.
There are plenty of teams who could use Fournier’s services, but the fact they’d have to be paying him through the 2024-25 season could be a tough pill to swallow. Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers come to mind as a squad that could use his shooting, but they don’t have many assets the Knicks would be interested in.
What Does His Future Hold?
If a trade doesn’t materialize, the Knicks won’t have many other choices other than just hanging onto him. With Quentin Grimes’ emergence with the team, Fournier seems to top out as a bench player with the Knicks.
At this stage in his career, that might be where he’s best suited, but he’s certainly not being paid like one at the moment. A team in desperate need of shooting could eventually decide to roll the dice on him, but that’s not something the Knicks should be banking on.
Thibodeau has given nothing but praise to Fournier since taking him out of the lineup, so it’s not like he’s burning any bridges with the team or showing any signs of being disgruntled.
“It’s a credit to him, he’s a true pro,” Thibodeau said. “It’s not easy…but that’s what being a professional is and that’s what the expectation is.”