When it comes to the NY Knicks’ plans for the future, RJ Barrett is the first name in needing of mention. Julius Randle could sign an extension this offseason, but Barrett is all but guaranteed at least six more years in the Big Apple due to the structure of rookie contracts. He also has the team’s highest ceiling. In looking ahead to who could be added alongside the 2019 #3 pick to move the needle beyond winning one game in the first round of the postseason, Daily Knicks’ Adam Kester pinpointed Evan Fournier of the Boston Celtics in his handful of hopeful additions.
And it certainly makes sense why. Fournier is still just 28 years old and would add another shot creator in an offense that was often at the mercy of the streakiness of Randle and Derrick Rose. The postseason exposed how shallow the Knicks were on nights that pair didn’t have it going on from the field.
Kester is content with the team spending as much as $18 million per season for the Frenchman, and for the fit with Barrett, it could prove to be a sound investment.
Per Kester’s “3 free agents who complement RJ Barrett” piece:
"The shooting is there and always has been. Not just as a catch-and-shooter, but as a player who can create their own shot. For his career, Fournier has always ranked well finishing at the rim, in the mid-range, and from 3.Where the most pressure is taken off Barrett is with Fournier’s ability to run the pick-and-roll and facilitate. Barrett isn’t that kind of creator… yet.Fournier’s playmaking ability goes beyond simple reads – Fournier was among the leaders in pick-and-roll ball-handler possessions among forwards. He’s going to draw a lot of attention, and Barrett is going to be able to prey on weaker defenders"
Much like how the future of the Boston Celtics franchise revolves around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Knicks must keep Barrett in mind when they make personnel decisions.
That’s the key to avoid the Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson-type rumors of unrest that have hit the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans this offseason. Barrett is a key component of the first postseason puzzle the team has had since 2013 and a potential future star NY should strive to appease.
Hardwood Houdini agrees about that making New York a team to watch in the Fournier sweepstakes. Time will tell if $18 million a season is realistic, but if it is, that is a salary best left for the Knicks to pay. The Boston Celtics have enough young wing depth to survive avoiding that cap clogging payday.