The New York Knicks are now on the outside looking in on the NBA playoff race, and that’s even including the play-in tournament that opens things up to the 9th and 10th seeds.
After getting off to a hot start, the team has cooled off significantly and thanks to inconsistent play from the starters and key injuries to important pieces like Derrick Rose, the Knicks are in a free fall.
Because of that plethora of reasons, the team is now willing to part way with several of their veterans, including the newly signed Evan Fournier, according to a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Wheeling and Dealing
Speaking on the January 27 episode of ESPN’s NBA Today, Windhorst says there have been conversations about a variety of veterans on the team.
“In conversations this week with teams, the Knicks have expressed a willingness some of their veteran players, and that includes Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, guys like this, and there’s a reason for it” he said.
He goes on to say since the trade for Cam Reddish, he has only played a total of 15 minutes, and the majority of that time has come in garbage time in the January 26 loss to the Miami Heat.
The team is quite loaded at a variety of positions, but that means some of the younger guys haven’t been able to get minutes. That is what eventually led to the trade of Kevin Knox, but now it looks like Reddish is going through the same problem.
This issue is very clear with a player like Obi Toppin. Ever since he was drafted by the Knicks, he has been a fan-favorite, but he has not been able to get a lot of consistent minutes due to being behind Julius Randle in the depth chart. With Randle’s ongoing struggles, Toppin has seen the floor more, but fans would love to see it happen even more.
Fire Sale Incoming?
It might not happen right away, but if the Knicks continue dropping in the standings then trades will certainly be following.
Fournier might be a difficult contract to trade since he just signed a four year deal and he’s quickly approaching the wrong end of 30. He’s shown he can still provide shooting to a team, but he definitely leaves a lot to be desired on the defensive end.
If he could find himself on a championship caliber team, he could fit right in as a third or fourth option. With most of the focus being away from him, he could focus on hitting his three pointers and just being a pure scorer. There are a lot of teams who’d certainly be willing to secure his talents, but the major hang up will be his contract size.
There aren’t a lot of teams with championship aspirations who have the ability to go out and grab a contract of this size, so he might not be able to be dealt until the offseason. If he is traded away at some point, look for Cam Reddish to get a lot more minutes.