The New York Knicks had high hopes at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season after they put up a 41-31 record and claimed the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Sure, they ended up losing to the fifth-seeded Atlanta Hawks in five games after All-Star forward Julius Randle shot a woeful 29 percent from the field in the series, but there were plenty of reasons to be optimistic as a Knicks fan. However, it seems as if Evan Fournier, one of their major offseason signings in 2021, is on the outs from the Big Apple.

What exactly has gone wrong for Fournier during his stint in New York?

The Knicks tried to capitalize on what could have been a watershed moment for the franchise, and attempted to bolster their backcourt with the additions of Kemba Walker and Fournier. Simply put, the addition of the two former Boston Celtics didn’t work out, as Walker found himself benched beginning in December 2021 while Fournier disappointed in his first year in the Big Apple, failing to step up as the reliable third-option the Knicks needed behind Randle and RJ Barrett despite signing a four-year, $73 million contract.

Nevertheless, Fournier’s first season with the Knicks wasn’t too bad. He averaged 14.1 points, albeit on a (then) career-low 41.7 percent shooting from the field, but he was still one of the most productive wings from beyond the arc, ranking fourth in the entire NBA in three-point makes with 241, behind only Stephen Curry, Buddy Hield, and Fred VanVleet.

Sure, that may not have been production befitting of someone making around $18 million a year, but no one could have possibly foreseen Fournier struggling to the degree that he has to start the 2022-23 campaign.

After beginning the year as a starter, Evan Fournier has seen his role dwindle with each passing game, and at the moment, he’s not even being given garbage-time minutes. It’s difficult to blame head coach Tom Thibodeau for benching the 30-year old shooting guard completely; in 13 games played, Fournier has averaged 6.9 points on a putrid 34 percent shooting from the field, clearly undeserving of minutes given his performances as of late.

However, given his track record as a scorer, Fournier should still draw a bit of interest on the trade market should the Knicks decide that they’ve had enough of his struggles. While his annual salary would give other teams some pause, the Knicks could, perhaps, incentivize them to take on his contract (despite their reported unwillingness to do so), or even swap him out with other deals that appear unenticing all the same.

San Antonio Spurs

Gregg Popovich has had considerable success over the years with maximizing the skillsets of international players, a long list that includes Fournier’s French compatriot Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, and Tiago Splitter, among others. Perhaps Evan Fournier could join that list too if he rehabilitates his value amid the Spurs’ rebuilding efforts.

Adding Fournier not only bolsters the Spurs’ floor spacing, it also frees up more space for Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell to operate on the perimeter.

On the other hand, the Knicks could get out of Fournier’s deal which runs until at least the end of the 2023-24 season (his contract has a team option for the 2024-25 season worth $19 million). The Spurs could deal bench wing Romeo Langford to the Knicks in exchange for Fournier to give New York a bit of salary relief, while San Antonio gets rewarded with some form of pick compensation for their involvement.

New Orleans Pelicans

In today’s NBA, you can never have enough 3 and D options on the wing. Trey Murphy, in particular, has emerged as one of the more reliable options from the perimeter for the Pelicans. However, it’s not a bad idea at all to add to their wing depth especially as they look to build off of last season’s impressive first-round showing against the Phoenix Suns in the playoffs.

Enter Evan Fournier.

Fournier, for all his struggles this season, is a 6’7 wing who can knock down open threes at heavy volume, and he will have carte blanche to let the ball fly from deep in the Pelicans offense with Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and CJ McCollum drawing the attention of the defense.

DeVonte’ Graham, for all his outside marksmanship, is a 6’1 guard who can be a defensive liability due to his lack of size, and the Pelicans could do well to ship him and Garrett Temple for Fournier especially when second-year guard Jose Alvarado has emerged as head coach Willie Green’s preferred backup to McCollum.

Miami Heat

The Knicks and the Heat are facing similar problems with Evan Fournier and Duncan Robinson, respectively; both have a considerable track record as feared outside shooters, but have failed to get it going this season and yet they are making around $18 million a year, a hefty price to pay for such disappointing output.

What if a change in scenery is just what the doctor ordered for both Fournier and Robinson?

Perhaps both could regain their form in a new setting, and it’s not as if teams are lining up to fork over assets for either, so the Heat and the Knicks could find themselves drawn to each other especially if the trade market continues to be dry for both underperformers.