Riding the pine is anything but what New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier is used to. After an unsuccessful appeal to Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau for a return to the lineup this summer, Fournier is putting his best foot forward in training camp in a second attempt to earn time.
Does Evan Fournier Bring Something New to the Table for The Knicks?
New York Post reporter Stefan Bondy shed light on Fournier’s frustration with his position in the depth chart and his unwavering optimism that his performance leading up to opening night can change that:
“I bring stuff that this team doesn’t have, too. So, I have hope to play, to be honest. I have hope to play. Maybe I’m crazy, I don’t know. Maybe Thibs has already made up his mind and stuff, but my goal is to put him in a position where he has to think about playing me.”
The Knicks acquired shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo this summer and have every intention of featuring him as the primary backup to starter Quentin Grimes in the 2023-24 campaign.
Moreover, RJ Barrett is aiming to take the next step in his fifth season with the franchise and earn his first All-Star bid as the starting small forward. Behind him, Josh Hart is fixated as a key component of the second unit.
Fournier’s claim that he brings things to the Knicks that they lack used to be true. His greatest strength lied with his ability to stroke the three ball both off of the catch and off the dribble. His 30.7 percent three-point percentage last season told a story contrary to his three seasons prior, where he shot 38 percent or better from downtown.
While he never truly got his footing in 17.1 minutes of nightly action across a career-low 27 games played, his 33.7 percent clip from the field holds no excuse.
- Knicks’ Julius Randle named Eastern Conference Player of The Week
- Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau defends choice to stick with struggling Quentin Grimes
- Knicks benefiting from Jalen Brunson’s ability to draw charges
What Will it Take for Fournier’s Wishes to Come True?
DiVincenzo was exceptional on 39.7 percent shooting from deep for the Golden State Warriors a year prior. He’s also proven himself as a solid defender, playing for championship defenses with the Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks over the course of his career.
Fournier is set to turn 31 on Oct. 29. His best chance at seeing the floor with regularity will be if the team suffers major injuries over the course of the year or regress from their middling 35.4 percent connect rate from outside last time around the NBA sun.