evan fournier
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks guard Evan Fournier is probably team president Leon Rose’s biggest mistake thus far and the Frenchman made it pretty clear all offseason. He expects a trade from New York to a team that actually plans to play him.

No trade has happened yet, and now Fournier seems to be getting restless. He recently appeared on RTL (r/t The New York Post), a French radio station, and expressed just how dissatisfied he was with the situation.

I don’t have the opportunity to play and even worse, I feel like I’m being held hostage,” Fournier said in the interview, per the New York Post. I hope this situation will resolve itself and I especially hope that the Knicks will give me a chance.”

Fournier signed a four-year, $73 million free agency contract with the Knicks in 2021. He made an immediate impact and scored 32 points in his New York debut, a double-OT win over the Celtics. He’d go on to average 14.1 points and shoot nearly 39% from three in 80 games.

His second season was almost the exact opposite. Adding Jalen Brunson in free agency made Fournier expendable and he was soon out of the rotation. He essentially became an injury replacement and averaged 6.1 points in just 27 games. Fournier earned $18 million last season.

No wonder he feels like a hostage. The Knicks have all but confirmed that Evan Fournier is not in their plans for the future. Unfortunately, because of his contract, trading him is a tough task, let alone getting back any value.

It’s a shame because Fournier was a reliable shooter and 2-guard before New York. He’s an 11-year veteran who has also played for the Magic, Nuggets, and Celtics. Fournier also led France to silver medals both at the 2020/21 Tokyo Olympics and last year’s FIBA EuroBasket tournament.

All this to say that Evan Fournier can absolutely still play and that the Knicks shouldn’t try and force a trade. If there’s no deal out there that’s acceptable, just buy out Fournier’s contract and part as friends and gentlemen.

“I want to leave,” Fournier added. “But beyond leaving, I want to have the opportunity to get some playing time back. That’s all. That’s mostly it.”

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.