Knicks: Evan Fournier is red hot since trade rumors shoot up

New York Knicks swingman Evan Fournier attempts a three-pointer against Brooklyn Nets. Photo Credit: Knicks Digital

New York Knicks swingman Evan Fournier has been red hot since his name came up in trade reports.

Multiple reports have floated Fournier as one of the Knicks’ veterans that have been made available. But with a fresh $78 million, four-year deal, it’s going to be a challenge to move him. After his recent 30-point outing in a Knicks’ loss to the surging Memphis Grizzlies, a new report came up that Fournier’s market value isn’t that high.

“I do know that the Knicks have conversations with teams, and Evan Fournier’s name has come up. Obviously, not a lot of traction there to date. We’ll see what happens in the coming days here,” SNY Knicks insider Ian Begley said.

Last month, Fournier averaged 15.7 points while shooting 45.7 percent from behind the arc. Over his previous three games, Fournier averaged 24.3 points, converting almost six triples a game on a whopping 54.8 percent. Last Wednesday night, Fournier hit 8 of 12 3s as he scored 30 points or more for the fourth time this season.

“I think Evan plays well when we move the ball the way we did [Wednesday],” RJ Barrett said. “I think that’s the thing for all of us.”

The Knicks had 23 assists, led by Julius Randle’s nine. Immanuel Quickley and Randle repeatedly found Fournier, and they assisted the Frenchman gunner for nine of his 11 field goals.

“As an aggressive player, you are just trying to look for opportunities. When you got going, it feels like every time you touch it, you can create something because there’s always space, there’s always air space, and there’s always ways to get the shot off,” Fournier said. “And when you get good looks early, it helps your confidence, and we have guys that are very unselfish and that are trying to feed you.”

Whether it was the Knicks’ ball movement or the trade reports that have been fueling Fournier’s recent hot streak, he’s undoubtedly helping drive up his market value. At the same time, his recent play could also make the Knicks front office forget about having buyer’s remorse.

In the same SNY report, Begley noted the Knicks’ reluctance to deal Alec Burks just for the sake of dumping his team-friendly contract and to open up rotation minutes. Burks stands to earn $10 million next season. But he can come off the books after next season if the Knicks or whoever trades for him will not pick up his third-year team option. The Knicks are willing to move Burks if it paves the way also to shed some of the other veterans.

Currently, the Knicks have a logjam at the wings with the arrival of Cam Reddish from the Atlanta Hawks, in which the Knicks gave up a protected first-round pick. New York coach Tom Thibodeau had repeatedly said it’s tough to play Reddish when the player he replaced, Kevin Knox, wasn’t in the rotation.

If the Knicks unsuccessfully move some of their veterans beyond the Feb. 10 trade deadline, the rotation jam is about to get messier when Derrick Rose returns from ankle surgery later this month.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo