It has been one of the more busy off-seasons for the New York Knicks in recent memory, but whirls of speculation and investments on big names will have to wait another year as head coach Tom Thibodeau shifts his focus on the start of the season.
He starts by announcing Evan Fournier as a ‘front-runner’ to be a starter for a second straight season.The team announced their training camp roster on Tuesday, appearing to be a substantial variety of guard play. Many speculated that the team would look to aim for a younger backcourt to pair up with Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett. Names like Quentin Grimes, their first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, showed a glimpse of becoming a shooting phenom last season as he dropped seven three-pointers on the Milwaukee Bucks last December.
However, his play was not as impressive to coach Thibodeau as he did finish with a season average of just 6.1 points. Though he may love his young guns, Fournier’s veteran experience and leadership ability may take this team into contention in the East.
“With Jalen, with RJ, with Julius (Randle), we need shooting (at shooting guard),” Thibodeau said.
Fournier averaged 14.1 points per game while shooting 38.9 percent from downtown. He made a career-high 241 made threes (fourth best in the League). Fournier plays alongside a quality young talent for the Knick faithful, and Thibodeau seems to believe Fournier can expand his game beyond shooting.