Evan Fournier could eventually become a buyout possibility if the Knicks can’t find somewhere to trade him, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. Fournier played just 27 games last season as coach Tom Thibodeau pulled him from the rotation, and he doesn’t appear to be in the team’s plans for the upcoming campaign.
While Fournier may not have any remaining value to the organization as a player, his contract remains an asset in a potential trade. He will make $18.8MM this season and has the equivalent of an expiring deal with a team option of $19MM for 2024/25.
Fournier was benched because Thibodeau opted for a focus on defense, but he can still help a team as a shooter and play-maker. He set a Knicks record for most three-pointers made in a season during 2021/22.
With his 31st birthday upcoming in October, Fournier is concerned about what another season of inactivity will mean for his career, as he said in a recent interview with the French outlet L’ Equipe. Popper notes that the Knicks haven’t pursued any stars so far this offseason, but Fournier will probably remain on the roster for a while in case an opportunity for a significant deal arises.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Knicks owner James Dolan cast the only vote against the sale of the Hornets, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The transfer of a majority stake in the team to a group led by Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin was approved by a 29-1 margin.
- It’s difficult to envision a quick resolution to the trade request submitted by Sixers guard James Harden, observes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Harden asked for a deal when he picked up his option for next season at the end of June, but little to no progress has been made. President of basketball operations Daryl Morey has reportedly set a high asking price that no teams have been willing to meet. Harden recently removed all references to Philadelphia and the team from his social media pages and wrote “Been comfortable for so long. It’s time to get uncomfortable” on his Instagram account.
- The Celtics are likely exploring other options before deciding whether to re-sign Blake Griffin, Brian Robb of MassLive writes in a mailbag column. Robb points out that president of basketball operations Brad Stevens hasn’t mentioned Griffin in any of his sessions with the media since Boston was knocked out of the playoffs. Robb also expects Romeo Langford to get a training camp opportunity with another team rather than returning to the Celtics.