How Evan Fournier Is Thriving With Knicks To Begin Season

Evan Fournier, New York Knicks, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

There was some skepticism when it came to the moves that the New York Knicks made this NBA offseason. After going 41-31 last season, some people thought the Knicks would make a big move to take the team to the next level, but that move never came.

Instead Leon Rose stuck to the plan they put in place. The team maneuvered around the 2021 NBA Draft landing prospects they were targeting while adding future draft capital. In free agency, they were pretty quiet as well, re-signing Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and Taj Gibson.

The only outside additions that were made were bringing in Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier to replace Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock. While almost everyone was happy to see Walker replace Payton, there was not nearly as much excitement for Fournier’s signing.

Fournier signed a lucrative four-year, $78 million deal which many thought was an overpay. People pointed out that he would not bring the same defensive intensity that Bullock brought and head coach Tom Thibodeau wanted Bullock to re-sign.

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He didn’t get his wish and may have been disappointed at the time, but Fournier has proven to be a great signing for the team. He was mentioned as one of the 10 players shining with new teams thus far in the 2021-22 season by NBA.com and they are right to have him on the list.

Fournier is third on the team in scoring, averaging 14.9 points per game. He provides another outlet offensively to help take pressure off of Julius Randle and RJ Barrett in the starting five. He is also chipping in 3.3 rebounds, two assists and 1.1 steals in 30.4 minutes per game.

Fournier’s diverse scoring ability is a big upgrade on Bullock who was mostly a spot-up shooter. Fournier can be a spot-up shooter but is also capable of scoring off the dribble, breaking down his man and getting into the paint, or setting up his teammates.

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He may not be as good of a defender as Bullock, but he is a gamer on that end of the court. Evan Fournier is still picking up Thibodeau’s schemes and rotations, but he gives effort on that end of the court.

He is fitting in seamlessly with the New York Knicks as a complementary piece. New York currently has the third-best offensive rating in the NBA and Evan Fournier is a big component of that.