Knicks’ $18 million trade candidate fights back: ‘I can bring stuff that this team doesn’t have’

evan fournier, knicks

The New York Knicks‘ efforts to trade shooting guard Evan Fournier this off-season have hit a wall, with potential trade partners seeming uninterested. After a stint of just 27 games last season, confidence in the 30-year-old’s ability to rebound and provide significant contributions is on the wane.

Fournier’s stats reflect his challenges: in 27 appearances, averaging 17 minutes each, he posted 6.1 points, 1.3 assists, and 1.8 rebounds. However, looking back to the 2021–22 season, he started 80 games for the Knicks and managed an average of 14.1 points, shooting .417 from the field and .389 from beyond the arc.

While Fournier excels as a long-distance shooter, his defensive capabilities are lacking. Furthermore, he doesn’t have the assertiveness to consistently drive the ball to the hoop. The Knicks are on the hunt for a proficient 3-and-D player, and unfortunately, Fournier, with his defensive shortcomings, doesn’t quite fit the bill.

Fournier’s Perspective

Despite the buzz around potential trades and the evident desire to move elsewhere, Fournier remains optimistic about his role and potential contributions. He was quoted by Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News, saying, “To be honest—I might be dreaming—but to me, I can help the team. I’m a good player. I can f–king play. I can bring stuff that this team doesn’t have, too. I have hope to play.”

Financial Implications and Trade Talks

Knicks’ President Leon Rose had explored a three-team trade involving Fournier some months ago, but the talks fell through. As things stand, trading Fournier may be challenging, especially without a larger package deal that could offset his salary.

Set to earn $18.8 million in the upcoming season, with a club option of $19 million for the 2024–25 season, Fournier’s contract occupies a substantial chunk of the Knicks’ salary cap—13.86%, to be precise. In an ideal scenario, the Knicks would transfer his hefty salary to make room for a top-tier player, but that’s easier conceptualized than executed.

A New Direction for the Knicks

The Knicks seem to be shifting gears. Their recent signing of Dante DiVincenzo, who opted out of his contract with the Golden State Warriors, indicates a changing strategy. Given this new direction, Fournier’s on-court time may be limited in the upcoming season, barring an unexpected spate of injuries.

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