Knicks Trade Rumors: NYK Unwilling to Deal 'Significant Assets'; Fournier Linked

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2021

Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier sets up for a 3-point shot during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The New York Knicks are in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13, but they apparently aren't looking to make a significant trade for the stretch run.

SNY's Ian Begley reported Tuesday that opposing teams "are under the impression that New York is unlikely to trade major assets for a top player at the deadline." However, the Knicks haven't ruled out making a trade, and Orlando Magic swingman Evan Fournier is among the options they've discussed.

The restraint shown by the front office is a positive sign for the long-term direction of the organization.

In December, head coach Tom Thibodeau said pursuing marquee stars requires a level of daring, implying the Knicks would need to be proactive when the opportunity arose:

Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN

Thibodeau said you can develop a star like Jimmy Butler. But also: "Sometimes you have to do it through trades, free agency. But I think you have to be very aggressive in seeking out those opportunities. They just don’t happen by accident. You have to make them happen." https://t.co/RI9i3YswDG

There doesn't appear to be a franchise-altering deal on the table before Thursday's deadline. As much as qualifying for the postseason would be a feather in Thibodeau's cap, it doesn't make sense to part with valuable trade assets if it handicaps New York going forward.

If the Knicks can make something work with the Magic, though, then Fournier would certainly help.

In 24 games, the Frenchman is averaging 19.1 points and 3.6 assists while shooting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. Adding his scoring ability would be beneficial for a team that sits 23rd in offensive rating (108.3), per NBA.com.

Fournier is on an expiring contract too, and ESPN's Tim McMahon reported he "has made it clear that he has no intention to re-sign with the Magic as a free agent this summer."

Orlando isn't in a position to demand much in return for the 28-year-old, so he'd fit nicely with the Knicks' priorities.