Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau has subjected one sharp-shooter to the gulag

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

The New York Knicks are gearing up to take on the Boston Celtics to open the 2023–24 season on Wednesday night. However, head coach Tom Thibodeau is still unsure about the role of Evan Fournier, whom the team has been looking to trade for months but has failed to do so.

Fournier has voiced his displeasure about his current situation, making his intentions clear that he wants to make an impact on another team. The Knicks have done their fair share of due diligence trying to move him, but given his salary and declining quality, they would likely need to part ways with some of their own talent just to get rid of his contract.

The Knicks Need to Move Evan Fournier

The truth is that including him as part of a bigger deal that involves multiple teams seems like the best-case scenario, but that is far easier said than done.

Last season, the 30-year-old French native played in 27 games, averaging 17 minutes and 6.1 points per contest. Coming off a season where he enjoyed 80 games, averaging 29.5 minutes and 14.1 points, his last productive season isn’t that far removed.

Another team may be able to get decent value out of him, but taking on the remainder of his contract is a bit difficult to stomach. He’s on a four-year, $73 million deal, which he signed with the Knicks in 2021, and is owed $18.8 million this upcoming season with a $19 million club option next year.

Obviously, Fournier will be released following this upcoming season unless the Knicks can find a trade partner. Still, he might end up becoming a kicker if the front office manages to acquire a superstar like Joel Embiid.

Ahead of Wednesday’s opener, Thibodeau indicated that he hasn’t decided if Fournier will begin the season out of the rotation, but with the addition of Donte DiVincenzo, it would be extremely surprising to see the veteran earn substantial minutes.

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