It’s been months now since Evan Fournier declared that there was no way the Knicks were going to keep him yet he’s still a Knick much to his dismay. The French sharpshooter had been very vocal over the last few months about wanting to be traded and how being stuck on the bench for another season would be a death sentence for his career, saying, “I would be very surprised to be a Knick next year. They pay me 18 million, they have no interest in keeping me. I would be [shocked]. I’m going to be traded, it’s not possible otherwise. Or I’d be stuck, and so would they. They have several players with big contracts coming in. Unless they want to pay a crazy luxury tax… If I stayed, it would be a disaster basketball-wise for my career. I can manage a year without playing. Two… that would be terrible.”
But when he was recently asked about his future, Fournier sounded like he had accepted that he may not get his wishes of being traded this offseason after all. “As you know it’s not in my hands,” Fournier told Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops.net. “If the Knicks want to keep me, I’ll have to stay, if they want to trade me I’ll have to go.”
Now, it’s not like New York stood by and did nothing this summer. It may have been a quieter offseason than fans had hoped for, but they made multiple moves during the offseason and there were reports that they were very actively looking to get rid of Fournier. But given his contract situation, teams were asking for draft picks, something the Leon Rose and the Knicks’ front office had no interest in parting with.
So now, we’re left with the veteran guard, who probably wanted out more than anyone else, remaining a Knick for now, which is likely the last thing Fournier wanted as he’ll likely be stuck on the bench behind Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVicenzo. And making all of this even tougher to stomach for Fournier and his fans, is the fact that it is coming amidst an incredibly disappointing FIBA World Cup showing for Team France, who is already out of contention for the championship after going into the tournament as a top five team. Fournier himself hasn’t played amazingly despite saying he’d use the tournament as a “launch pad” for his career, but remains confident in his ability to help a team, saying, “I know I can help. I know I can play. I know I can do many things.”
Obviously, a lot can still happen between now and the beginning of the season, but with the front office staying patient to find the right deal, it’s looking more and more likely that Fournier will start the season as a Knick.