After a solid season from Reggie Bullock, the New York Knicks elected to let him hit free agency in search of a new team. Averaging 10.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and shooting 44% from the field, Bullock was one of the players who could’ve reached an extension with the Knicks, but instead, they elected to retain Nerlens Noel, Derrick Rose, and Alec Burks. Bullock was, unfortunately, the odd man out, despite shooting 41% from three-point range and 90% from the free-throw line.
Ultimately, Bullock is a spot shooter that rarely creates opportunities for others, which could be viewed as a negative as more pressure was placed on players like Julius Randle and RJ Barrett to make something out of nothing. To supplement the departure of Bullock, the Knicks went out and signed Evan Fournier to a four-year, $73 million deal with an out after the third season. He will earn an average of about $18 million per season, a contract that dwarfs Bullock’s deal with the Dallas Mavericks. Reggie signed a three-year, $30 million deal, similar to the contract Burks’s landed with New York.
However, when looking at Fournier’s statistics, he averaged 17.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and shot 45.7% from the field. He also connected on 41.3% of his shots from three-point range and is a career 80% shooter from the free-throw line.
Right off the bat, there is a tremendous difference and assists between Fournier and Bullock, and the French native also got to the free-throw line about three times as much as a former Knick.
The statistics start to lean heavily in favor of Evan when looking at field goals made unassisted. For example, last season, Fournier averaged 37.2% of his points on unassisted shots, while Bullock sat at 6.5%. This essentially details Fournier’s ability to creating his own opportunities while Bullock feasts off of other’s hard work and being in the right place at the right time.
97.5% of Bullock’s three-point field goals were on assists, while Fournier landed at 78.6%, a significant difference that tells a story between the two players. Fournier posted 21.4% on three-point field goals unassisted, while Bullock finished at 2.5%. Defensively, Fournier is more efficient stealing the ball, averaging 1.1 steals per game compared to Bullock’s 0.8. However, Bullock offers better perimeter defending with his length and athleticism whereas Fournier has been susceptible to more athletic shooting guards in the past. With an extra inch of height, Evan does have slightly better-blocking percentages and totals over Bullock, but both are rather irrelevant in the category.
Both averaged about 30 minutes per game on the floor, but Fournier contributed seven more points, justifying a more significant contract. While the Knicks might’ve overpaid a bit for his services, there is no question he is a better player and will provide an upgrade at the shooting guard/small forward position.