Knicks: France National Team coach wants Evan Fournier traded

New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier (13) controls the ball against Washington Wizards guard Ryan Rollins (9) and forward Taj Gibson (67) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Fournier has not found his way back into the New York Knicks’ rotation this season, and the one opportunity he saw in their 120-99 win over the Washington Wizards led to an ankle injury that sidelined him. Now, the coach of France’s national basketball team is calling for the Knicks to free him of his proverbial bonds.

Vincent Collett spoke with RMC Sports and had this to say about the murky situation Fournier is in and how the veteran guard can be serviceable elsewhere despite his large contract, per Eurohoops.net:

“What I want is for him to be able to change location to be able to play again,” Collet said per French network RMC Sport. “But unfortunately, we are not the ones who have the keys. It’s definitely complicated. In this case, it’s not an advantage how big his contract is. It is obvious that franchises would be ready to welcome him, but certainly not under these conditions.”

Knicks: Is Fournier The Same Player From His 2020 Olympics Performance?

Fournier helped France advance to the 2020 Summer Olympic Finals in 2021 against Team USA and spearheaded their offense. He was riding the momentum of a strong 2020-21 season which saw him average 17.1 points per game on 41.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc and followed that up with another solid 2021-22 campaign.

Collett is likely still riding high off of Fournier’s great play from then, as well as his reliability over the course of his tenure playing on the national team. However, Fournier has not shown that he’s the same player, though that could be attributed to a lack of playing time.

At 31 years old, Fournier is not advanced in age to the point of no return. Given sufficient court time, his track record as a shooter and shot creator is worth a team taking a chance on. Fournier is unselfish and moves well without the ball. He lacks in the defensive department but a team seeking scoring punch off their bench would be wise to take a look.

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Fournier’s Contract is Likely The Only Thing Halting a Trade

Fournier is owed roughly $38 million for the next two years. The fact that he’s not on an expiring contract makes it difficult for the Knicks to sell to a team that would be willing to unload draft picks and assets to clear cap space at the end of the year.

Fournier’s play has not reflected his near-$20 million annual figure and as a result, has been a deterrent in the Knicks fulfilling his trade wishes. He has been vocal about wanting a trade since the offseason to no avail.

Fournier was a Game Time Decision for the Knicks’ last game against the Charlotte Hornets which he did not suit up for. No updates have been made in regards to his status. Once he recuperates, he’ll have to make the most of sparing minutes to make a case for other teams to take a chance on him.