clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Can Evan Fournier just get a chance?

Cmon Thibs.

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The New York Knicks are the worst shooting team in the NBA.

After a Friday night loss to the Milwaukee Bucks that saw the Knicks hit 38/96 (40%) field goals and 10/39 (26%) three-pointers, they need offensive help. Scoring 105 points in the loss brought their season average to 103.3, the lowest in the league.

Knicks offensive team stats six games into the season:

Points: 103.3 (30th)

FG%: 39.3 (30th)

3PM: 12.2 (T15)

3P%: 32.4 (24th)

FT%: 70.4 (T28)

In every basic offensive stat, the Knicks are struggling. Don’t get too caught up in them being 15th in three-pointers; they attempt the seventh most per game.

If only they had a six-foot-seven Frenchman on the bench who could...shoot the ball. One would think a player who has averaged 14 points and shot nearly 38 percent from three for his career could take his warmup off at some point.

Evan Fournier continues to waste away on the bench in a bizarre situation that none of us understand.

I remember the quotes from July:

It sure felt like he would be traded, but nothing came to fruition.

The reality is that Fournier is still part of this team, and whatever disdain Tom Thibodeau has for him, he should get over it.

I get it; he’s not a good defender. There are also 19 teams averaging 110 or more points; no defense is going to be perfect. You can sacrifice some defense for offense; it’s going to be okay.

In the 2021-22 season, Fournier played 80 games. He averaged 14.1 points and three three-pointers on 38.9 percent shooting. The Knicks guard also was a +1.5 in offensive win shares and +2.2 in defensive win shares. His box plus-minus wasn't good, but that was more due to the Knicks not having a good season. He was an impact player and still can be. This was two seasons ago, not ten. He hit 241 three-pointers, which was the fourth-best in the NBA!

An offensive area the Knicks are struggling in is (everything), but more specifically catch-and-shoot shots. They are scoring the 11th fewest points and shooting the ninth-worst percentage at 34.3 percent. In the aforementioned 2021-22 season, Evan Fournier had a 59.3 effective field goal percentage on catch-and-shoot attempts. Out of his 241 three-pointers in 2021-22, 212 were on assisted baskets. He’s a player who can knock down shots off passes, and he would help the Knicks once again embarrassing assist averages. You’re telling me he can’t be helpful? The man scored 41 points with ten three-pointers against the Boston Celtics back in January 2022.

Last season, after Quentin Grimes came back from injury, Fournier got cushy on the Knicks bench. On February 5th, in a home game against the Philadelphia 76ers, he showed how opportunity is one call away. Scoring 17 points and hitting five three-pointers in 24 minutes, the Frenchmen helped the Knicks to a 108-97 victory. It was the only game since October that he played at least 24+ minutes.

Who can forget the 2023 playoffs, when the Knicks literally shot the worst three-point percentage in playoff history!

Where was Evan Fournier, you ask? That’s right, he didn’t play one second of one game. Before Game 5 against the Miami Heat, with the Knicks down 3-1 in the series, I tried to get the Fournier conversation going. Clearly, I was unsuccessful.

No one is saying you need to create your offense around him; he doesn’t need 20 shots a game. What he can bring is at least the ability to put the ball in the hoop, the objective of this beautiful yet frustrating sport we call basketball.

I don’t care what has happened behind closed doors between Evan Fournier and Tom Thibodeau. Be adults, figure it out, put your vendetta aside, and find some common ground. I’m so sick of the stubbornness. Fournier is making $18.5 million this season before having a club option at $19 million in 2024-25, and he will be an unrestricted free agent in 2025. At this point, I have a better chance of playing for the Knicks in 2025 than Evan Fournier does. That doesn’t mean he has to sit and do nothing until the contract is up.

Just give it a chance.

Follow Josh on Twitter for more Knicks news and stores.