Knicks: Randle believes Walker-Fournier addition makes them more versatile

The New York Knicks have supercharged their offense with the acquisition of four-time All-Star Kemba Walker and Frenchman gunner Evan Fournier.

Walker and Fournier are essentially replacing the ineffective Elfrid Payton and the Knicks’ top perimeter defender but limited offensive player Reggie Bullock.

Payton has since hooked up with the Phoenix Suns while Bullock jettisoned to the Dallas Mavericks.

In theory, the Walker-Fournier tandem that played beautiful music together, albeit briefly, in Boston, is bringing more offensive punch that was sorely lacking when they fell to the Atlanta Hawks, 4-1, in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Walker and Fournier had a combined average of 36.4 points and close to 10 assists last season, a huge upgrade compared to the 21 points and close to five assists that the Payton-Bullock provided in the previous season.

When healthy, Walker is one of the better point guards in the league. A maestro in pick-and-roll who packs a deadly pull-up game and a decent outside shot (36-percent three-point shooter in his career), Walker will command the respect of the defense, which Payton never had last season.

Meanwhile, Fournier is a more dynamic playmaker and shot-creator in the wings that the catch-and-shoot specialist Bullock will never become.

Their addition is expected to lessen the offensive burden on Knicks’ All-NBA second team forward Julius Randle, who was shackled in the playoffs.

“It means a lot. Those guys are, obviously, very versatile players. They can do a lot of different things on the court. They can really shoot the ball. I’m excited about that. I think they are gonna make us more talented,” Randle said in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated

While the Knicks have addressed their glaring weakness on offense which was exposed in the playoffs, the perception around the league is that the Knicks’ top-four defense (107.8 defensive rating) would take a hit.

Payton ranked fourth among point guards in ESPN’s defensive real-plus minus with 2.5 DRPM (DRPM is the player’s estimated on-court impact on team defensive performance, measured in points allowed per 100 defensive possessions). Walker was ranked 30th with -0.30 DRPM.

Bullock was the second-best among all small forwards with 3.74 DRPM behind Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Harris (4.00 DRPM). Fournier ranked 26th among shooting guards with 0.16 DRPM, with RJ Barrett at third with 3.00 DRPM. Barrett is expected to slide to small forward and replace Bullock as the Knicks’ top perimeter defender.

“With Reggie, Elfrid, and all those guys, what they brought to our team was tremendous,” Randle said. So, obviously, [Walker and Fournier] gonna add a lot of offensively for us. But for us, as a team, our main thing has to be the main thing. And that is we come in every night and play with tremendous energy and defend. So as long as we do that, we’ll be fine.”

There is no doubt that the reigning NBA Coach of the Year, Tom Thibodeau, will not let their vaunted defense dip. Collectively, the Knicks are still one of the best defensive teams on paper with the re-signing of Nerlens Noel and the return of Mitchell Robinson from injury.

With more shooting and talent around him this time, Randle worked on his rim attacking and off the bounce game this summer with his trainer Tyler Relph as he expects less double team.

“I think we’ll see great improvement so we just have to make sure that we’re coming in locked in and play defense, get stops because the rest of the league doesn’t like doing that. Offensively, honestly, that’s really the easy part,” Randle said.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Knicks: Reacting to a proposed Karl-Anthony Towns trade

rj barrett, julius randle, new york knicks

The New York Knicks front office did exceptional work this off-season, bolstering multiple positions and providing head coach Tom Thibodeau with more player combinations to work with during the 2021-22 season.

While rumors circled this off-season regarding potential trades for players like Damian Lillard, the Knicks elected to retain some of their own free agents and sign others to replace Reggie Bullock and Elfred Payton. The team also drafted several contributors with upside, including Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride.

However, the Knicks are never left out of the rumor mill, as Stefan Bondy of New York Daily News presented the idea of trading Julius Randle and RJ Barrett for Karl-Anthony Towns.

Anthony Towns is going into his seventh year in the NBA, averaging 24.8 points during the 2020-21 season, including 10.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and shot nearly 49% from the field. He also connected on about 39% of his shots from range, averaging 6.3 attempts per game. Despite missing out on the All-Star game, having only played 50 contests last season, Towns is a bonafide superstar.

Despite his statistical woes and production, trading Randle and Barrett is simply far too much for a Knicks team that is expecting both players to take another step forward this season. Randle, who had his best campaign to date last year, averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and shot 45.6% from the field. He also connected on 41% of his three-point attempts, averaging 5.5 shots per game.

Comparing Randle and Towns’s numbers, they are quite similar, so throwing Barrett into the mix pushes the comparisons over the edge. RJ Barrett is just entering a stage where his numbers could see All-Star level production, posting 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and shooting 44% from the field last year. He also connected on 40% of his three-point shots, showcasing the ability to create for himself but also act as a spot-up shooter.

In addition, Towns recently signed a five-year, $158 million deal in 2019, earning over $30 million per season. The Knicks managed to retain Randle at less than $30 million per year, and Barrett is only set to earn $8.6 million this upcoming season.

Based on the statistical and monetary value of all three players, we can confidently say, sticking with Randle and Barrett is an easy decision, especially since we haven’t seen the best of RJ yet.

What do you think of this proposed trade? Would you consider trading Randle and Barrett for Towns? Comment below!

How Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley became an elite free-throw shooter with a fearless mentality

imannuel quickley, new york knicks

New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley spent two years with Kentucky before taking his talents to the NBA level. During his first season in the SEC, Quickley averaged 82.8% from the free-throw line, starting off his collegiate career on a high note. However, it wasn’t until his second season with Kentucky when he really advanced with his shooting mechanics and confidence, earning a 92.3% free-throw percentage. He averaged 16.1 points that season, contributing 41.7% shooting from the field and 42.8% shooting from range.

Quickley’s development has been a process, and there’s no bigger factor in his growth and his own mother, Nitrease Quickley.

“I was the free throw shooting coach,’’ Nitrease Quickley told The Post last season.

“It’s been so commonplace that when he misses a free throw, it takes myself a couple of minutes to get myself together,’’ Nitrease said. “He missed that? But the game is going on and I miss the next two minutes. But what I like about him is he doesn’t allow a missed shot to stop him from being the player he is. If he misses a free throw he gets upset a second, and he’ll come back on the line and here we go again.’’

One of Quickley’s biggest mentors and most consistent teachers is his mother, as he was gifted with a family lineage built on the game of basketball and competition. During his rookie season, quickly was a godsend for a team that was unable to maximize the impact of eighth overall pick, Obi Toppin. Quickley contributed 11.4 points over 19.4 minutes per game, and he impressively connected on 89% of his free-throw attempts, getting to the line 2.7 times per game.

Quickley isn’t one to boast about his accomplishments and present an egotistical mentality, but rather remain quiet and build upon his talents.

“He’s having a lot of fun,’’ Nitrease said. “He’s a humble kid but someone who is working hard and fans appreciate that. When you have someone willing to work hard for the team and teammates, you can’t help but gravitate to him.’’

Quickley is the type of player that could win Sixth Man of the Year with a bit more development and consistency at the NBA level, and he already has a significant advantage with a strong support system behind him.

Knicks: ESPN’s NBArank disrespects RJ Barrett after big sophomore season

new york knicks, nyk, rj barrett

New York Knicks shooting guard RJ Barrett is criminally underrated in the basketball community, routinely being left off top-100 lists and rankings. In the latest offense, Barrett was left off ESPN’s NBArank, with several rookies getting the nod ahead of him, which is rather unexplainable.

Oddly, ESPN ranks Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green, two rookies, ahead of RJ Barrett, who established himself as a productive offensive scorer and adequate defender during the 2020-21 season.

Cunningham ranked 76th, ahead of players like Caris Levert and Knicks’ point guard Derrick Rose. Green ranks 96th with the expectation he will lead all rookies in scoring, which is all hearsay until he actually accomplishes that feat.

Realistically, unless you’re a generational talent like Zion Williams or LeBron James, any rookie making the top-100 list is spotty.

Looking at Barrett’s production from his sophomore season, he saw massive increases in several categories, including field-goal percentage, three-point shooting, and free-throw percentage. He enjoyed a slight increase in total rebounds and turned the ball over less.

He finished the campaign averaging 34.9 minutes per game, playing in all 72 games. He tallied 17.6 points, 3.0 assists, 5.8 rebounds, and shot 44% from the field. Barrett saw his three-point percentage increase 8% to 40% last year compared to his rookie season. With an effective field-goal percentage of nearly 50%, it is ludicrous he was left off a list that features multiple rookies who haven’t accomplished anything as a professional level yet.

The Knicks haven’t seen the best of RJ Barrett:

Heading into just his third year, Barrett still has three years left on his contract, including a qualifying offer for the 2023-24 season. The team has plenty of time to continue helping him develop, and with the additions of multiple scorers and facilitators, it will take a tremendous amount of pressure off him to force shots.

However, RJ paired nicely with Julius Randle last season, seeing a few advanced statistics increase with more minutes. The best part about RJ is his ability to finish in the paint using strength and elusiveness while also featuring as a spot shooter in the corner. Only 2.4% of his shots from three were unassisted, indicating that he found space and allowed his teammates to find him open. Nearly 30% of his total point production came from beyond the arc, while 54.3% of his points came from the paint and 7.0% from mid-range. He was able to create a lot of opportunities for himself, converting 64.7% of his two-point field goals unassisted.

Seeing clear advancements on offense and remaining aggressive on defense, it is crazy to think Barrett is considered more inferior than two players who’ve never enjoyed a single minute in the NBA. Hopefully, Barrett uses this as fuel for his growth and progression moving forward.

How Rich Paul’s alleged misrepresentation led Nerlens Noel to Knicks

Nerlens Noel proved to be a valuable piece to the New York Knicks last season, especially after starting center Mitchell Robinson went down with two significant injuries.

The Knicks went 25-16 when Noel took over the starting spot over the injured Robinson. Noel’s career-best 2.2 blocks per game anchored the team’s defense which boasted the league’s best rim protection (60.5 percent in opponent’s rim field goals) that helped them made the playoffs for the first time in eight years. He added 5.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in 24.2 minutes, his most playing time since his sophomore year.

Noel’s efforts got rewarded with the biggest contract yet of his career – a partially guaranteed three-year, $32 million deal to remain with the Knicks. But that contract pales in comparison to what Noel could have earned back in 2017 free agency.

Noel, then a restricted free agent, turned down a $70 million, four-year extension offer from the Dallas Mavericks after super-agent Rich Paul allegedly told him that he was “a $100 million man” during Ben Simmon’s birthday party in 2017. He claimed that Paul induced him to sign the one-year, $4.1 million qualifying offer instead and seek the max contract in 2018 free agency.

Noel’s 2017 fumble remains one of the league’s cautionary tales, and it is the bone of contention in a messy legal battle between the Knicks center and Paul.

The decision to reject the Mavericks’ $70 million offer “placed Noel at serious professional and financial risk,” claimed the 2017 cease and desist letter issued by the legal counsel of Happy Walters, Noel’s previous agent, to Paul and Klutch Sports.

The letter claimed that it was contrary to Walters’ advice alleging that Paul’s motivation was the desire to collect lucrative commissions from a future deal.

It was one of the salacious details of the amended lawsuit Noel filed against his former agent. The move was in response to Paul filing a grievance to the National Basketball Players Association claiming that Noel failed to pay him $200,000 in commission from his previous one-year, $5 million deal with the Knicks in 2019. 

Noel said in the lawsuit that Paul virtually played no role; hence he is not entitled to his commission. Noel claimed that on the second night of the 2020 free agency, Leon Rose, the Knicks president, called Steven Dorn, Noel’s friend, and adviser. Rose asked Dorn who was Noel’s agent as the Knicks were interested in signing him. Dorn directed Rose to Paul and eventually agreed on the one-year deal that proved to be a smart move that led to his current multi-year contract.

Noel is seeking financial damages after losing $58 million in total salaries between 2017 and 2020, allegedly due to Paul’s lousy advice and gross negligence as his agent. In the lawsuit, Noel claimed that Paul and Klutch Sports have a history of mismanaging and ignoring smaller clients and are only focused on their marquee names citing Norris Cole and Shabazz Muhammad as examples.

Cole had an $8.4 million career earnings in six seasons, while Muhammad collected around $10.5 million in five seasons in the league.

Noel claimed that Paul started to sour on him when he suffered a thumb injury that limited him to a career-low 4.4 points in 30 games during his second season with the Mavericks.

Noel said he entered the free agency with Klutch Sports failing to provide any plan or strategy. He was left with no choice but to sign a two-year minimum deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The former lottery pick claimed that Paul allegedly ignored calls from other teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers (which he learned from his former coach Brett Brown) in 2019 and the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets in 2020.

In 2019 free agency, the 76ers traded for Al Horford and gave him a partially guaranteed four-year, $109 million deal. They also signed veteran center Kyle O’Quinn to a one-year minimum deal.

Noel signed another minimum deal with the Thunder.

In 2020 free agency, the Clippers signed Serge Ibaka to a two-year, $19 million deal while the Rockets added DeMarcus Cousins for the $2.6 million veteran minimum deal.

The Knicks snagged Noel for a $5 million deal which proved to be a bargain for what he provided last season.

If Noel had stayed with Walters, he would have accepted the Mavericks’ $70 million offer in 2017 and formed an interesting frontcourt tandem with former Knick Kristaps Porzingis. But Paul’s alleged poaching and misrepresentation somehow steered him towards the Knicks. And Noel’s misfortunes finally ended in New York.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Knicks News: Carmelo Anthony reunion nearly happened, Randle wants to bring Championship to New York

New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony

The New York Knicks were extremely active this off-season, signing familiar faces preparing to hit the free-agent market and bringing in new talent to replace those that didn’t make the cut.

Impending free agents like Elfred Payton and Reggie Bullock simply didn’t offer enough value to earn a second contract with the Knicks, as they elected to spend money and upgrade both spots with Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier. The Knicks were connected to some of the brightest players in the league during the rumor mill months, but they nearly reunited with one legend from the past, Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony, who ended up signing a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, spent last season with the Portland Trailblazers, averaging 13.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and shot 42% from the field. Melo connected on 41% of his three-point shots, showcasing he still has shooting efficiency on his side, despite being 36-years-old.

Playing in 69 games last season, averaging 24.5 minutes, Carmelo still has gas left in the tank, but his career is slowly coming to an end. He is far removed from his younger years when he averaged nearly 30 points per game with the Knicks in 2012, but the front office saw him as a potential piece on a cheap contract.

Instead, he will join a stacked Los Angeles team where he will pair up with Anthony Davis and LeBron James, living out the rest of his career with championship aspirations.

The Knicks elected to retain Alec Burks and draft youngster Quentin Grimes to provide scoring production from range. All-Star power forward Julius Randle is convinced the team has taken a big step forward, and the process of accomplishing success has been a long time in the making.

Randle told Ian Begley of SNY that “everything is a process. We’ve been building this from the ground up. But for me, personally, winning a title in New York is the expectation.”

It is clear the organization is dialed in and on an upward trajectory, which is far more than we can say for the past few years, if not decades. Having established talent and youth on the rise is exactly the situation the Knicks want to be in, and they’ve only added more this off-season to help boost their chances of making a deeper postseason run compared to their 2020-21 season when they were knocked out in the first round by the Atlanta Hawks.

Knicks’ Miles McBride could have a bigger impact than expected in rookie season

miles mcbride, knicks

If there’s any specific factor that New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau prefers in his players, it is defensive proficiency. In the most recent draft class, the Knicks targeted players like Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride, both known for their defensive attributes but high ceiling regarding their scoring abilities.

Grimes was once ignorant of the benefits of playing high-level defense, but during his time with Houston, he learned the ways which caught the eye of Thibodeau. McBride, who played with West Virginia, has always been an aggressive player guarding the perimeter, utilizing his extraordinarily long wingspan and massive hands to help cut passing lanes and poke the ball free from handlers.

Despite McBride being a second-round selection, the Knicks are confident he will develop into a potential starter down the road. During Summer League play, McBride looked fantastic over 27.7 minutes per game. He averaged 15.2 points, shooting 53.2% from the field and 50% from three-point range, over 6.0 attempts per game. He also contributed 3.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds, including 1.3 steals, showcasing his quick hands.

While the Summer League offers players an opportunity to develop alongside NBA talent, it doesn’t mean they will be efficient during regular-season games.

Despite shooting incredibly, the sample size is too small to consider McBride anything but a reserve player in his rookie season. Nonetheless, the West Virginia product already understands what he needs to do to earn minutes and make an impact this year.

Knicks’ Miles McBride already knows the best way to make an impact, saying as much to The Spun in an interview:

Just be ready for anything. You know how quickly things can change in the NBA. I need to be ready to play in any role, whether that’s bringing the ball up the floor, making shots in the corner, or trying to take out the opposing team’s best player. I just need to be versatile.

Known for his toughness, McBride can offer immediate defense in specific scenarios. With Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker as the primary point guards, their defense can be a weakness at times with a focus on scoring and faciliating, which is where McBride can get on the floor and apply his talents. In addition, he’s an even better scorer than Frank Ntilikina, who the Knicks let go this off-season, signing a two-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

Given Rose and Walker essentially have two-year deals themselves, McBride will be developing his game over the next few seasons to prepare himself for the future. If he can increase his scoring proficiency and improve his defensive strengths, Thibodeau could entrust him with the starting gig down the line. His rookie season is a great opportunity to establish some strengths at the NBA level while developing his weaknesses as the regular season continues.

Can the Knicks land the 4th Seed again during 2021-22 season? | Who stands in their path?

knicks, julius randle, trae young

The New York Knicks securing the 4th Seed in the Eastern Conference last year was a miracle given the lack of talent at specific positions. Thanks to All-Star power forward Julius Randle, the team relied on his offensive production to win an impressive string of games during the latter portion of the year.

At one point during the season between April 9 and May 3, the Knicks won 12-of-13 games, pulling away with a nice lead in the East to secure a guaranteed postseason spot. However, for any team to string together that many wins is complex. The Knicks will realistically drop a few spots in the standings, given the improvements made around them for teams like Atlanta and Miami. It is entirely possible the Knicks land in the play-in tournament, battling with the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards.

However, the 6th Seed in the Eastern Conference is up for grabs, with both Miami and Atlanta inching closer toward being considered elite-level teams.

Projected top-10 standings in the Eastern Conference:

1.) Milwaukee Bucs

Coming off a Championship win, Milwaukee is the favorite to win the Eastern Conference. Given their talent retention and chemistry, they will be fighting with Brooklyn alone for the top two spots.

2.) Brooklyn Nets

With a Healthy Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, the Nets are neck-and-neck with Milwaukee. However, the Nets’ trio of stars have had injury issues in the past, so guaranteeing that will be available for the entire campaign is a tough sell, but as we saw during last year’s postseason, Durant alone is capable of beating teams.

3.) Philadelphia 76ers

Even if Philadelphia strikes a deal for Ben Simmons, they are still a favorite in the Eastern Conference and sit a level above Miami and Atlanta, putting them in the 3rd Seed.

4.) Miami Heat

The Heat got better this off-season, signing point guard Kyle Lowry and one of the best role players in the league, PJ Tucker. Tucker was a vital part of Milwaukee’s championship run last season and represents a quality veteran. They also added Markieff Morris and Victor Oladipo, adding even more talent to a stout young team.

5.) Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks completely dominated the Knicks during postseason play, but that was without Mitchell Robinson and the additions of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier. Atlanta added John Collins on a five-year, $125 million extension, retained Lou Williams, and signed Solomon Hill. They elected to keep some of their more prominent names than go fishing in the market, but they are a strong team, building chemistry quickly.

6.) New York Knicks

The New York Knicks did enough to stay out of play-in postseason contention, with the 6th Seed entirely up for grabs after Miami and Atlanta. Fournier offers a legitimate upgrade offensively over Reggie Bullock, and Kemba Walker has the potential to change the dynamic of the team entirely at the PG position. If they can remain healthy and consistent, the Knicks could be fighting with Atlanta for the fifth spot, but they are a young team with an upward trajectory, and that’s all you can ask for if you’re a Knicks fan.

7.) Boston Celtics

8.) Washington Wizards

9.) Indiana Pacers

10.) Charlotte Hornets

Overall, landing the 4th Seed or better is unlikely for the Knicks given the upgrades other teams made around them, but that doesn’t mean they will miss out on the playoffs. They still have a strong foundation built on defense, and adding more production in the scoring department will only assist in making them a better team.

Knicks News: Frank Ntilikina posts farewell, Julius Randle raves about RJ Barrett

new york knicks, rj barrett

The age of Frank Ntilikina has finally come to an end for the New York Knicks, who selected him 8th overall in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Funny enough, Ntilikina signed a fresh contract with the Dallas Mavericks this past week, who were also intrigued by the French native in that draft class.

During his time in New York, Ntilikina failed to establish himself as a primary point guard in one of the most hostile markets. He averaged just 5.5 points over four years, never hitting double-digit numbers in the category. He also only recorded 2.7 assists per game and shot 36.7% from the field. His playing time dropped off significantly during his final season with the Knicks, playing in just 33 games and starting four. Despite his difficult experience, Ntilikina had nothing but good things to say about the fans in New York.

Frank Ntilikina posted a heartfelt message to Knicks fans after signing a two-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks:

NEW YORK,

4 years, 4 years already… I remember the day of the draft like it was yesterday, One of my childhood dreams then became reality.

Playing for the Knicks has truly been a blessing and an amazing experience. You welcomed a kid who just left home in order to pursue his dreams and goals, and to continuously grow. I could not ask for more.

I would like to thank the entire franchise, the coaches, players, all members of training and medical staff and all the people who work hard every day for the success of this organization over the years.

Last but not least, to all the Knicks fans around the world… Thank you ! The support has been amazing from day 1.
Wins and losses, highs and lows, we have all seen one thing for sure, and that is that the passion and the love for basketball stays unbeaten through it all.

I am leaving now to open a new chapter in my journey, forever grateful for the opportunity.

The French Prince 🇫🇷👑

Julius Randle raves about RJ Barrett’s growth:

All-Star power forward Julius Randle has taken on a leadership role ever since he took a huge step forward in his development last year. Randle was the offensive leader on a team that desperately needed a star to take control and has since fueled the hungry organization in search of prolonged success.

Part of his leadership role is to help his teammates continue developing and staying proactive. Working closely with RJ Barrett has been a necessity for Randle, and he had nothing but great things to say about his growth and what makes him a unique talent.

”He just keeps improving. You can tell the guys who really love the game and dedicate themselves to their craft; he’s one of them.”

During Barrett’s second season last year, he saw improvements in nearly every category, averaging 17.6 points, 3.0 assists, 5.8 rebounds, and shooting 44.1% from the field. He saw an 8% increase in his three-point shooting, elevating it to 40.1%. His free-throw shooting also saw a 13% increase to 74.6%, and with his talents in the paint, getting to the free-throw line is a byproduct.

The duo of Randle and Barrett has the potential to be elite, and this upcoming season should see even better chemistry and flow between the two.

Knicks: Is Evan Fournier really a big upgrade over Reggie Bullock?

evan fournier, knicks

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.