The New York Knicks have improved as a shooting team, but not enough to be a dominant perimeter-scoring offense. They’re shooting 37.3% from 3 (11th best) compared to 33.7% from 3 last year. The issue? They have only 28.3 attempts a game (2nd worst) which is why the percentage can be fool’s gold. They can’t space the floor well enough for players (like RJ Barrett) to utilize their slashing abilities. Teams can stack the paint against the Knicks and force the Knicks to shoot, but if the Knicks added a high-volume shooter, they’d be able to eliminate this defensive tactic and drastically improve offensively. Evan Fournier is a name to look out for, as they seem interested in him, and he’s a player the Knicks have seen pretty recently already.
High Volume, High Percentages
Evan Fournier, on 6.7 attempts from deep, is shooting 39.6%, which is not only very efficient but also high volume. He draws defenders to the perimeter and opens up the paint more for their slashers, and that’s crucial for this team. His True Shooting percentage at 59.8% is really good over the last two years and means he doesn’t need a ton of shots to score a lot. The fit in terms of perimeter scoring is perfect, but how well-rounded is Evan Fournier?
Offensive Minded Forward, Limited Defense
Evan Fournier is the definition of an offense-first player, and his statistics this year support this:
18.59 OPA (Offensive Points Added)
-12.63 DPS (Defensive Points Saved)
His offensive numbers are obviously good, but he’s truly a bad defender. Not worst in the league levels of bad, but certainly well below average. This could be a problem for the Knicks since Tom Thibodeau is a defensive-minded coach, and so if you’re trading assets that have some defensive prowess, it may take some adjusting.
So while we know the Knicks are interested and the offensive fit makes sense, does the defensive mismatch make this a net-negative? Well, quite frankly, not at all.
The Knicks Should 100% Try To Trade For Evan Fournier:
I already talked about the defensive mismatch, but the offensive capabilities are simply too much to pass up on. They already play (and started) Reggie Bullock, who was a negative defender according to D-RAPTOR, and the same thing is true for his backup Alec Burks. It’s replacing Bullock with a better scorer and similarly bad defender, so it’s a huge upgrade. The lineup just flows better, and while he is on an expiring contract, the Knicks would either be okay with getting a rental or already are prepared to give him a contract in free agency.
Fournier makes this team better, and he’s someone the Knicks should remain in on.