The New York Knicks tried to flip veteran guard Evan Fournier at the trade deadline for two role players who went on to help the Los Angeles Lakers reach the NBA Western Conference Finals.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, the Knicks were among the few teams who inquired about Malik Beasley, formerly of the Utah Jazz.
“The Knicks were another team that called about Beasley, sources said, attempting to land Beasley and [Jarred] Vanderbilt in a deal that would have sent out Evan Fournier. New York also eyed Beasley in 2020, when he was a restricted free agent, and that was before Gersson Rosas, then the Minnesota Timberwolves president who awarded Beasley a four-year, $60 million contract, joined the Knicks as a senior basketball adviser,” Fischer wrote.
The Jazz spurned the Knicks again for the second consecutive time since the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes last summer and re-routed Beasley, along with Vanderbilt, to the Lakers in a three-team trade with the Timberwolves. The Jazz valued the Lakers’ 2027 top-four protected pick attached to Russell Westbrook more than Fournier.
The Knicks pivoted and landed Josh Hart from Portland for Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, Svi Mykhailiuk, and the 23rd pick of this year’s draft.
Had the Knicks successfully traded for Beasley and Vanderbilt, they would have provided bench depth for the Knicks. Beasley would have played Hart’s role, while Vanderbilt could have eaten into Obi Toppin’s minutes as Julius Randle’s backup.
Evan Fournier Expected to Get Traded
Fournier already saw the writings on the wall.
Following the Knicks’ second-round exit, Fournier shared his unfiltered thoughts about the most challenging season of his 11-year NBA career.
“My season was over a long time ago. It took me a good month to understand that…. Obviously, there are gonna be changes and I’m gonna get traded,” Evan Fournier said via SNY’s Ian Begley.
After setting the franchise record for most 3-pointers made in a single season during his first season with the Knicks in 2021-22, Fournier lost his starting job to Quentin Grimes and eventually fell out of rotation. He only saw action in a career-low 27 games and did not play a single minute in the Knicks’ playoff run.
Fournier is owed $18.8 million next season with a $19 million team option for the 2024-25 season.
Josh Hart’s ‘Ideal’ Contract
Hart is expected to renounce his $12.9 million player option and re-sign a new lucrative deal. Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto speculated that Hart would return to New York in a new contract worth north of $70 million.
“If I had to guesstimate where I think it’s ultimately going to go, I could see Hart getting a little bit higher towards the $18 million a year mark because of the way the cap is going up. Tom Thibodeau loves him. He’s a CAA guy. At the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, the buzz from the Knicks, rival executives, and even rival agents was that Josh Hart was going to re-sign with the Knicks. I think four years, $72 million for him, would seemingly be ideal,” Scotto said on the May 25 episode of the HoopsHype podcast.
Hart averaged 10.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists on 47.9% shooting from the field and 31.3% from deep in 11 playoff games with the Knicks.