5. The New York Knicks lure Evan Fournier from the Boston Celtics in 2021
In the same summer when the New York Knicks landed former Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker, they also lured Evan Fournier away from their division rival. Fournier joined the Knicks as part of a sign-and-trade with the Celtics after inking a four-year, $73 million deal.
Fournier’s Knicks tenure got off to a blistering start. He and his new team hosted the Celtics on opening night of the 2021-22 season, where New York secured a 138-134 win over Boston in double overtime. In his Knicks debut, the Frenchman lit up his former team with 32 points, drilling six three-pointers in the process.
He went on to appear in 80 of New York’s 82 games that season, averaging 14.1 points per game on 41.7%/38.9% splits. From there, it’s all gone downhill.
This past season, things changed. Fournier fell out of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation — due to a lack of defensive ability — and took the floor in just 27 games for the Knicks. His scoring average dropped to just 3.1 points per game, and his splits dipped significantly to 33.7%/30.7%. With two seasons left on his deal (the last one is luckily a team option), the 30-year-old is widely considered to be a negative asset.
It’s unclear if the Knicks will be able to find a trade partner to take on the back half of Fournier’s lucrative contract, but they sure would like to. That could be money well spent, but instead, it’s going into the pockets of a man watching games from the bench.