Houston Rockets & New York Knicks Trade #3: Eric Gordon for Evan Fournier
For a team to sign a player to a four-year $78 million contract and then trade them less than half a season into that deal, something has to have gone horribly wrong, and that’s exactly what has happened with Fournier.
Fournier was supposed to come in and give the Knicks close to 20 points a night on relatively efficient shooting. He’s the type of player where some nights he looks like an All-Star, but most of the time he is a solid unspectacular starter.
Unfortunately, Fournier has played like the eighth man on the roster. His offense has fallen off and his defense, never a strong suit, has gone with it. All Fournier is doing at the moment is hitting open threes.
The season that Eric Gordon is having is the season that the Knicks thought Fournier would give them. Gordon is averaging 14.7 points on 10.7 shots per game, while Fournier is averaging 13.1 points on 11.3 shots per game.
While Gordon averaging 1.5 more points on 0.5 fewer shots seems minimal, those are the fine margins that separate most NBA players. The good thing for the Knicks and the Rockets is that both Gordon and Fournier are set to make a little more than $18 million this season.
Gordon’s deal has only one more full-guaranteed season after this, while Fournier has two more before a team option. This trade allows the Knicks to upgrade on Fournier and get off his contract more quickly, which means they’ll need to throw in draft capital to get the job done.
The Knicks own all of their draft picks plus a protected 2022 1st round pick from Charlotte and a 2023 protected 1st from Dallas. The Knicks will want to keep their own picks, but one or both of their external picks will have to go to Houston.