Evan Fournier has been on the block for months, having fallen out of favor with Thibodeau and losing his spot in the team’s rotation.
While Fournier certainly adds value on the offensive end of the floor, his defensive skills aren’t up to Thibodeau’s standards. The Knicks coach has a well-earned reputation for keeping his rotation tight, and Fournier simply doesn’t have a place in it.
Fournier has played just three games this season as the Knicks look for a buyer in a trade. His last outing, Jan. 18 against the Washington Wizards, was an uninspiring 0-4 shooting performance. So it’s not like teams are breaking down the Knicks’ door to acquire a player who hasn’t earned regular playing time in over a year.
Despite abrupt breaks with the Boston Celtics and now the Knicks, it wasn’t long ago that Fournier was averaging nearly 20 points per game for the Orlando Magic. He also played well in the FIBA Basketball World Cup over the summer.
However, the real value Fournier would have in a trade is his $18.8 million salary. If the Knicks want to make a big addition by the deadline, Fournier’s cap figure could be valuable in matching salaries with a trade target.
If the Knicks have no interest in Fournier, they should trade him somewhere else so he can get back to playing regular NBA minutes. Letting him sit and waste away for another few months makes no sense from a team or player perspective.
As SNY’s Ian Begley pointed out, the rest of the league will take notice of how the Knicks handle the Fournier situation. The organization won’t want to be seen as missing out on a veteran player, so unless Thibodeau changes his mind and finds a place for the Frenchman in his rotation (unlikely), the Knicks will need to move on to Fournier as soon as possible.