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Game-Changing Deadline: Knicks’ Star Player Primed for a Mega Move in 2024 NBA Trade!

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It won’t make much sense if this player is still a New York Knick on February 9th.

With less than two weeks until the 2024 NBA trade deadline, the New York Knicks are looking more and more like a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference. Their record sits at 29-17, with just six games separating them from the Boston Celtics in the top spot.

Tom Thibodeau’s team has won an NBA-best six consecutive games, including a blowout of the defending champion Denver Nuggets and an impressive defeat of the Miami Heat.

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau

But star forward Julius Randle is dealing with a dislocated shoulder. It’s not yet known how much time he will miss, or if the injury is one that will have lingering effects. The Knicks might also be inclined to address the hole created by Mitchell Robinson’s absence.

Robinson is not expected to play again this season after undergoing ankle surgery in December. His replacement in the lineup, Isaiah Hartenstein, has filled in admirably. But Hartenstein has injury problems of his own, missing several games this month because of a sore Achilles.

Precious Achiuwa, acquired from the Toronto Raptors in the O.G. Anunoby deal, is earning the trust of Thibodeau as he gets more comfortable in his role. Still, the Knicks should be in the market for a big man to provide depth.

And in any trade, what will New York be looking to give up? There is one player in particular that seems like a sure thing to be shipped out before February 8.

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Fournier no longer has role in New York

Evan Fournier has been on the trade block for months, having fallen out of favor with Thibodeau and losing his place in the team’s rotation.

While Fournier certainly adds value on the offensive end of the court, his defensive abilities are not up to Thibodeau’s standards. The Knicks coach has a well-earned reputation for keeping his rotation tight, and Fournier simply doesn’t have a spot in it.

Evan Fournier, New York Knicks

Fournier has played in just three games this season while the Knicks look for a taker in a trade. His last outing, on January 18 against the Washington Wizards, was an uninspiring 0-4 shooting performance. So it’s not as if teams are going to be breaking down the Knicks’ door to acquire a player who hasn’t earned regular playing time in over a year.

Despite rough stops with the Boston Celtics and now Knicks, it wasn’t that long ago that Fournier was averaging close to 20 points a game for the Orlando Magic. He also played well in the FIBA Basketball World Cup over the summer.

Knicks must proceed with caution

However, the real value Fournier would have in a trade is his $18.8 million salary. If the Knicks want to make a big addition by the deadline, Fournier’s cap figure could be valuable to match salaries with a trade target.

Evan Fournier, Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

If the Knicks have no use for Fournier, they should trade him somewhere else so that he can get back to playing regular NBA minutes. Having him sit and waste away for another few months doesn’t make sense from the team or player’s perspective.

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As SNY’s Ian Begley pointed out, how the Knicks handle the Fournier situation will be noticed by the rest of the league. The organization won’t want to be viewed as doing a veteran player wrong, so unless Thibodeau changes his mind and finds a place for the Frenchman in his rotation (not likely), the Knicks have to move on form Fournier sooner than later.

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