Evan Fournier expects, wants to be traded from Knicks, Spurs interested

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Phoenix Suns v New York Knicks

Phoenix Suns v New York Knicks

Evan Fournier — who fell out of Tom Thibodeau’s rotation last season — does not expect to be in a Knicks jersey next season. And he’s good with that, as he put very plainly in an interview with Yann Ohnona from L’Equipe (hat tip to Basketnews for the translation).

“I would be very surprised to be a Knick next year. They pay me 18 million, they have no interest in keeping me,” he said. “If you want to trade me with a good return, why didn’t you use me? I was coming out of a season where I was the fourth-best 3-point shooter in the league. Why not take advantage of it?”

And Fournier’s relationship with Tom Thibodeau.

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“I have nothing to say because I have none,” Fournier said… “When he took me out of the five, he just told me he was going to try something else. Then at the first match of a road trip, he announced to me that I was leaving the rotation, and ciao.”

The Knicks reportedly have been shopping the French sharpshooter (career 37.9% from 3), with some buzz he would be the salary ballast in a larger three-team deal that never came together. Fournier is owed $18.9 million next season and other teams have been asking New York to throw in a pick to take on that salary. The Knicks want to keep that pick, which has killed any straight-up trades.

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The Spurs reportedly had some interest, reports Ian Begley of SNY.TV. Fourier had told the French paper L’Equipe he was open to playing with fellow Frenchman Victor Wembanyama under Gregg Popovich.

I have heard that a few teams – teams that seem like they could make the playoffs – have had interest in acquiring Evan Fournier. One other team that I am keeping an eye on is San Antonio. The Spurs are among those teams who have had interest in acquiring Fournier via trade. Unless they have changed course recently, the Knicks have been against attaching any additional draft compensation in a Fournier trade.

The Spurs no longer have the cap space just to absorb Fournier in a trade, the sides would need to match salary — which the Spurs could do with a number of player combinations. However, then you’re back to the core problem for New York: The Spurs may like Fournier but will not give up a couple of players they like for him, and San Antonio would want a pick back. The Knicks don’t want to send out that pick, they want to dump the salary (but other teams will want that pick to take on a salary dump).

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Whether it’s San Antonio or somewhere else, expect the Knicks to trade Fournier before the start of the season. He clearly is ready to move on from New York to a place he can contribute.

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