The New York Knicks have some decisions to make before the season begins, and one of them is what to do with sharpshooting wing Evan Fournier.
The Frenchman set a team record in three pointers made last season for the Knicks, so while New York didn’t make the playoffs, Fournier still had a historic year.
Despite his contract and record-breaking year, it might not be enough to save his role in the starting lineup going into next season.
“If the roster remains the same, my best guess is that Grimes will start at shooting guard,” predicts SNY’s Ian Begley.
This doesn’t necessarily mean Fournier would be traded, however, and that idea “doesn’t add up” for Begley.
Don’t Expect Fournier to Be Moved
The Knicks are looking to add shooting to the roster, as evidenced by the addition of Svi Mykhailiuk, so trading away Fournier wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense.
“The idea that the Knicks need to trade Fournier doesn’t add up for me,” Begley said. “Fournier set the franchise record for three pointers made last season. I would assume he met or exceeded the Knicks’ expectations when the club signed him to a four-year $73 million deal in the summer of 2021.”
Perhaps the biggest knock on Fournier is his defense, and having poor defense doesn’t bode well for playing time in a Tom Thibodeau system. Quentin Grimes has more to provide in that area, but the scoring isn’t there yet. While Begley believes Grimes will get the nod in the starting lineup, it doesn’t mean Fournier will get moved.
“So I don’t know why New York would be in a rush to trade him,” he continued. “The Knicks need more shooting. Trading Fournier would give them less shooting, depending on which players they receive in the trade, of course.”
There will be interest in a trade if the Knicks did decide to go that route, and there would be fans who would want to see Fournier traded, but it can’t be for the sake of just moving him.
Fournier Could be Solid Off the Bench
When it comes to the bench, it would appear that scoring is the thing that’s valued most, and that’s something Fournier could provide.
Derrick Rose is healthy going into the season, so the two of them could make a good backcourt coming off the bench.
For what it’s worth, Begley reports Fournier shouldn’t have much of an issue coming off the bench if the Knicks decide to go in that direction, but doesn’t have any concrete evidence confirming it.
“I would assume so,” he said on if Fournier is fine coming off the bench. “But I don’t have any reporting on that topic.”
Joining him in a bench lineup would be Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickey and Isaiah Hartenstein, so the Knicks have a deep rotation if they decide to play everyone. The only issue is there’s no true superstar on the roster, but what they have right now might be enough to get into the playoffs.