Atlantic Notes: Fournier, Durant, Tatum, Raptors

Asked directly if he wants to remain with the Knicks, Evan Fournier paused to consider his answer before responding, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. As the veteran wing eventually explained, while his preference would be to stay in New York, that may not be the case if he’s going to remain out of the team’s rotation.

“Best-case scenario, I want to stay here. I want to play here,” Fournier said. “I had a bunch of different choices in free agency and I wanted to be a Knick. I love New York. I wanted to play for (head coach Tom Thibodeau). So I’d love to stay, but I’d love to play.”

Fournier went on to say that he feels like he’s in the best shape of his career and that he’d rather not spend some of his prime years sitting on the bench.

“I should be in my prime. I am in my prime,” he said, per Braziller. “You want to play, for sure. Especially as a competitor. It’s not like I forgot how to play. Last year I had a different role and somehow I was able to break a 30-year-old franchise record (most three-pointers in a season). So I am going to find a way to adapt to any situation.”

The veteran wing has been ruled out of Tuesday’s game vs. Cleveland for personal reasons, the Knicks announced (via Twitter). According to Steve Popper of Newsday (Twitter link), Fournier’s wife gave birth today.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • It’s uncertain after today’s update from the team whether Kevin Durant will be healthy in time to play in next month’s All-Star Game, but if the decision is up to him, the Nets star would like to suit up in Salt Lake City, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “I want to play tomorrow if I can,” Durant said. “So that’s what my sense of urgency is. Obviously, I don’t want to rush anything. I want to make sure I’m 100%. But yeah, I want to play. I want to be a part of all these events.”
  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum didn’t rule out the possibility that his sore left wrist will require surgery after the season, but indicated that he has no plans to miss extended time during the season, using rest and injury management to play through the ailment, per Bobby Manning of CLNS Media.
  • Eric Koreen and John Hollinger of The Athletic teamed up to take a closer look at the Raptors‘ approach to the trade deadline and various factors the team should be considering as it weighs its options. Hollinger views the Lakers as one logical trade partner for Gary Trent Jr., pointing out that L.A. would be in position to re-sign the veteran swingman to a new contract this summer.
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