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Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier?

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Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#1 » by JXL » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:10 pm

It's been a rough couple of games, and coming up to the 1st quarter of the season the question has to be asked: Was bringing in this backcourt a mistake?

- Julius is better with the ball in his hands when he's the hub of the ball going around. Most of you think how he's being utilized isn't good, but his game and everyone else's game is predicated on how the shots are going to be distributed. His ESP with Bullock was the catalyst of how he gets the ball to the open shooters. Right now, he's trying to get that ESP going with Fournier and it's been up and down. Fournier's role will have to be adjusted to have him be more comfortable with pull up shooting and catch and shooting because his indecisiveness with how to attack a set defense is holding the offense back.

- Walker is being asked to do the "less is more" with Julius on the court, and I believe it's hurting his concentration on playing off the ball more. His job should simply be the attacking PG he's always been, but he's been too tentative with his dribble penetration and I believe its about his knee still not being right. While he should take more 3's, he should be spraying out passes when he gets deep in the paint instead of forcing up shots with a bigger defender in his face. He's been too up and down, and its hurting the offense as a result.

- RJ has been the most polarizing of the starters. He started the season on a hot note, but the last 7 games, he's been on a huge cold streak. I don't know what is making him be too unbalanced with his scoring. Few games he's shooting 45% FG and 40% 3PT, and the next few games he's shooting like basura. I just believe he needs to be the 1 man fast break, create contact in the paint so he can get more free throws. Using the FT line can get his shot going. Also, what's up with the refs not giving him calls when he attacks the basket and getting hacked? Does he need to get busted open to get a foul call?



Right now, this team is up and down, but I don't think bringing in Walker and Fournier is a mistake, but they need to get this right and soon. What do y'all think?

Spoiler:
Also, I want Obi and IQ get more minutes, especially for the small ball lineups (Rose/IQ/RJ/Obi/Randle)
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#2 » by Deeeez Knicks » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:31 pm

Unfortunately, yes.

Fournier seems like the bigger mistake due to his contract. All that cap space and choices and they went with the wrong guy.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#3 » by Synciere » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:36 pm

Fournier yes. He’s not what we needed. But maybe he turns it around.

The switch from Payton and Bullock to Kenna and Fournier was a direction reaction to our playoff series against the Hawks. Something tells me even now that if we played them in a seven game series we’d do better. Unfortunately we lost our defensive identity and were worse against everyone else. We still need the do it all wing player that RJ doesn’t look like he’ll fill. The Paul George/Kawhi type. If you go offense you have to be able to outscore people and you can’t do that if your starting shooting guard is shooting 1/10 from 3.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#4 » by moocow007 » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:40 pm

On Walker...

If Walker is shot then the Walker they got is not the Walker they needed. A mistake? I mean yeah I guess. At least in the sense that if the goal/expectation of Walker was to assume the starting PG and much needed top end shot creator role.

I've mentioned a few times, the red flag I had about this whole Walker thing was how quickly Danny Ainge and the Celtics were willing to buy Walker out.

Ainge has never been a guy that would give up talent unless he knew something about that talent that says he's potentially not going to be able to produce at that level. There was a lot of proof that Ainge knew that Isaiah Thomas' hip was degenerating and that he hid it (as early as 2017). When they traded Thomas to the Cavs in that mega package for Kyrie Irving (2018) folks were surprised with how much (relatively speaking right cause Kyrie was forcing his way out of Cleveland) the Celtics gave up. Thomas was the face of the Celtics and was coming off a near MVP caliber season and in his chronological prime. A lot of Celtic fans were furious. Fast forward and we see that Ainge wasn't giving talent away, he knew that the prognosis for Thomas' future health wise was not good and he moved him before it became more obvious.

I wanted to hope for the best but so far Walker has not looked good. No explosiveness. For those that have actually watched Walker play (and not just boxscore watch) what made Walker the player he was was his explosiveness and constant motion knifing in and out and attacking and always keeping opposing defenses on their heels. This Walker the Knicks have has not done any of that. Could be that he's still "recovering"? Sure, but the announcement that Walker won't play in the 2nd game of back to back games was a pretty strong indicator that Walker may actually be shot or more shot.

---

On Fournier...

Fournier is a nice no.3 option in a good teams starting lineup in my book. He can stretch the floor and help facilitate and then when opposing defenses leave him room (cause they're focusing on the no.1 or 2 options) he can put the ball on the floor and create for himself.

Problem is that considering how bad Randle has looked and Walker potentially being shot (i.e. your defacto no.1 and 2 options), he is not getting no.3 option looks and may be pressing himself to try to help his team out. You can kind of see that as he's rushing shots and really not getting into any sort of groove. Likewise, I'm not sure the Knicks offensive system and play calling really maximizes all of his skills.

So in that sense, if the signing was with the expectation of maximizing his contribution and fitting him in, yeah it's not looked good either.

Alternatives?

If we were operating the hindsight machine, it probably would have made MUCH MORE sense to take the money invested in Fournier and Walker ($20 million per over 4 years for Fournier and $9 million per for 2 years for Walker) and funnel it to someone like Demar Derozan (who got $29 million per over 3 years).

Sure Derozan isn't a starting PG, but honestly if Walker is shot, he's also not a starting PG either right?

But at least Derozan is comfortable and quite capable of being able to handle the role that he would have found himself in (the no.1a or 1b option). As such, it's much more likely that he would not be as disappointing as the 2 aforementioned players. As far as "but how does he fit with Randle?" Look. An average NBA team takes how many shots a game? Even at his so called ball hoarding best how many shots can Randle need? Point being, on a team like this where there would have been very little other players justified to shoot in volume, having Derozan take what would have still probably been less shots than Walker and Fournier combined would have taken (had Walker been healthy and playing the role the Knicks had hoped for) wouldn't be taking shots away from others it very well could have actually given more opportunities than the projected Walker/Fournier duo would have.

It is what it is.

I think the Knicks FO spent way too much on role players and focused too much on trying to keep last seasons team intact.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#5 » by Knicksfan1992 » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:41 pm

Hot first take: This thread will not go well :lol:

Second - My quick take on the Knicks offseason as a "failure" early on - A lot of guys on the team are shooting below expectations. Simply missing shots they should take. Fournier being a pretty extreme case of one of them. Let the percentages normalize before making quick decisions about them... This forum suffers from a lot of confirmation bias (myself included). It's human nature to want to be right, especially about sports takes :lol:, since there's so much gray area involved.

Third just my 0.02 on the signings - I think the only one that can possibly end up being deemed a "mistake" is Fournier because of the size and money commitment of the deal.. Right now Walker, statistically, is still providing elite backup pg production, with some flashes of good starting PG play thrown in there. And for what we're paying him if that's what we get that's totally fine even if it's not "excess value" like some of us had hopes for...I still think he turns it around even more at some point and gels with Randle + RJ more as they get more PT together. He was off to a slow start last year too and picked it up halfway through and into the playoffs until he got hurt again. Kemba's 2nd half of last season he was at 20.6ppg/5.5apg/4.2rpg on 45/36/87 splits.. His per 36 right now is slightly below that. I expect his production to pick up again...

Fournier, is a little trickier of a case because he has a pretty much established level of production that he's sustained for the last 4 or 5 years and is in the prime of his career... For whatever reason it just hasn't seemed to work out so far offensively and obviously he's not a world-beater defensively either so when he's not making shots or making plays on offense it just tends to look bad with him. In theory, he should thrive in this role and I stand by that but for whatever reason ever since the first like 3 games of the season he has become hesitant to really do anything. He doesn't have a quick trigger off the catch anymore, he's not attacking teh rim with vigor and he settles for a lot of bad pull ups out of rhythm...He looks discombobulated and I wouldn't be shocked if that vague Begley report about some prominent players being frustrated about the offense had to do with him. Luckily, because he has sustained production before him shooting poorly shouldn't effect his trade value too much and we saw last year that he was able to be moved for a few 2nd round picks from Boston.

I think the rationale behind the signings made sense IMO.. The Knicks wanted more playmaking and shooting they could rely on and thought they had enough infrastructure to still be a solid defense. Early on it basically looked like the Knicks traded Defense for Offense but sneakily amongst this offensive skid, the Knicks have been a top 10 defense for the past few weeks after their initial horrific start on that end. They are now up to 17th in defensive rating (per BBall ref) after being in the bottom 5 for a while...

I was more bullish on the Kemba signing than Fournier. I think the structure of the Fournier deal helped me swallow that one a little more, but the more I watch the more I think the Knicks need something different than what he's attempting to be right now... He just doesn't seem to thrive off the ball and when he's not making shots early he becomes tentative. It's been his MO since he's been in the league, but I thought with RJ, Obi, Kemba, Rose, Burks and IQ all here we could better handle when Fournier didn't have it going, but right now we haven't been able to get more than like 1-2 guys rolling in a given game. I think a more naturally aggressive wing would be a better fit. A Dillon Brooks for example or a Buddy Hield kind of unconscious gunner. It would help the stagnation I think we're seeing
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#6 » by JXL » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:46 pm

Synciere wrote:Fournier yes. He’s not what we needed. But maybe he turns it around.

The switch from Payton and Bullock to Kenna and Fournier was a direction reaction to our playoff series against the Hawks. Something tells me even now that if we played them in a seven game series we’d do better. Unfortunately we lost our defensive identity and were worse against everyone else. We still need the do it all wing player that RJ doesn’t look like he’ll fill. The Paul George/Kawhi type. If you go offense you have to be able to outscore people and you can’t do that if your starting shooting guard is shooting 1/10 from 3.


While I agree the move to Walker/Fournier was about increasing the offensive production, I still believe moving on from Payton/Bullock was the right call for the overall ceiling of the team. When you have a backcourt that gives you nothing offensively outside of a few shots here and there, that's a losing matchup. While that's now true for the current backcourt for now, I believe they will get it together. As for RJ, it's important that his development is to become an elite 2-way player ala Jimmy Butler. Still only 21, he's going to be fine.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#7 » by Kampuchea » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:48 pm

I’d say not a mistake. With only Randle and Rose on offense we can’t score in playoffs. More options now but taking time to be cohesive, which I have seen is improving the last couple of games. Considering the reasonable contracts I’m supporting the moves.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#8 » by moocow007 » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:50 pm

JXL wrote:
Synciere wrote:Fournier yes. He’s not what we needed. But maybe he turns it around.

The switch from Payton and Bullock to Kenna and Fournier was a direction reaction to our playoff series against the Hawks. Something tells me even now that if we played them in a seven game series we’d do better. Unfortunately we lost our defensive identity and were worse against everyone else. We still need the do it all wing player that RJ doesn’t look like he’ll fill. The Paul George/Kawhi type. If you go offense you have to be able to outscore people and you can’t do that if your starting shooting guard is shooting 1/10 from 3.


While I agree the move to Walker/Fournier was about increasing the offensive production, I still believe moving on from Payton/Bullock was the right call for the overall ceiling of the team. When you have a backcourt that gives you nothing offensively outside of a few shots here and there, that's a losing matchup. While that's now true for the current backcourt for now, I believe they will get it together. As for RJ, it's important that his development is to become an elite 2-way player ala Jimmy Butler. Still only 21, he's going to be fine.


Yeah agreed. Just because early signs (which hopefully doesn't turn out to be the final outcome) have not looked good it doesn't mean staying with what they had was the better choice. Easy to prove. Elfrid Payton is currently in his natural domain as the 3rd string PG in Phoenix and Reggie Bullock has been absolutely brutal in Dallas (36%fg, 28%3pt, 5.9ppg) despite playing in a system that better suits role players and with arguably the top shot creator in the NBA in Luka Doncic on his team.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#9 » by Knicksfan1992 » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:51 pm

Synciere wrote:Fournier yes. He’s not what we needed. But maybe he turns it around.

The switch from Payton and Bullock to Kenna and Fournier was a direction reaction to our playoff series against the Hawks. Something tells me even now that if we played them in a seven game series we’d do better. Unfortunately we lost our defensive identity and were worse against everyone else. We still need the do it all wing player that RJ doesn’t look like he’ll fill. The Paul George/Kawhi type. If you go offense you have to be able to outscore people and you can’t do that if your starting shooting guard is shooting 1/10 from 3.


We've been a top 10 defense for a few weeks now... The issue is with the offense IMO. Fournier hasn't been able to adjust being a 4th option at times. That's the biggest issue. He's not as aggressive looking for a shot off the catch as Bullock was and it's hurting the continuity we had last year on that end around Randle.

Defense is following the same pattern as last year. We hemorrhaged open 3's in the first quarter of the season, but luckily they didn't fall. This year they did and it killed us, but slowly and surely last year we started limiting opponent 3s as the year went on. Same thing this year is happening. In our first 10 games of the year we allowed teams to have 41 attempts from 3 per game. Now in our last 7 we've limited it to 38.4. That makes a MASSIVE difference over 100 possessions especially if those are open attempts
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#10 » by JXL » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:53 pm

moocow007 wrote:If we were operating the hindsight machine, it probably would have made MUCH MORE sense to take the money invested in Fournier and Walker ($20 million per over 4 years for Fournier and $9 million per for 2 years for Walker) and funnel it to someone like Demar Derozan (who got $29 million per over 3 years).

Sure Derozan isn't a starting PG, but honestly if Walker is shot, he's also not a starting PG either right?

But at least Derozan is comfortable and quite capable of being able to handle the role that he would have found himself in (the no.1a or 1b option). As such, it's much more likely that he would not be as disappointing as the 2 aforementioned players. As far as "but how does he fit with Randle?" Look. An average NBA team takes how many shots a game? Even at his so called ball hoarding best how many shots can Randle need? Point being, on a team like this where there would have been very little other players justified to shoot in volume, having Derozan take what would have still probably been less shots than Walker and Fournier combined would have taken (had Walker been healthy and playing the role the Knicks had hoped for) wouldn't be taking shots away from others it very well could have actually given more opportunities than the projected Walker/Fournier duo would have.

It is what it is.

I think the Knicks FO spent way too much on role players and focused too much on trying to keep last seasons team intact.


DeRozan's role on this team would not have been the same for him now on the Bulls. The difference is utilizing his skillset and not conflicting with Julius (who the FO gave the extension to be their #1). While DeRozan would take much pressure off of Julius, he would have to re-adjust his skillset to benefit playing alongside Julius. I don't think that's what DeRozan wanted.

I will agree that overspending on the bench was a bit too much with the cap space they had, but its not crippling them like in years past. Also, they are playing up to the contract so far, so it balances out.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#11 » by WajaBawl » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:54 pm

Yes, and the FO's reluctance to admit that mistake and play younger, faster (McBride, Grimes, IQ starting), is why we're the new treadmill Orlando Magic.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#12 » by JXL » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:59 pm

WajaBawl wrote:Yes, and the FO's reluctance to admit that mistake and play younger, faster (McBride, Grimes, IQ starting), is why we're the new treadmill Orlando Magic.


Disclaimer: Unless you're otherworldly in your rookie season (ala Zion pre-NO diet, Ja, Luka), Thibs won't give major minutes to rookies unless you over-the-top impress him early on.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#13 » by Chanel Bomber » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:01 pm

They're both underqualified for the roles they were put in.

Problem with guys like Fournier and Kemba is that we look at their numbers and we're like oh yeah, these guys averaged 20 or whatever so they can definitely be good starters for us.

Except they only put up numbers on average/mediocre teams, with the exception of that one season where Kemba played in the Bubble ECF. Their numbers were skewed. On a championship contender? They're way down the pecking order. Especially now that Kemba's past his prime. And ideally you want those guys (role players basically) to be able to defend - hence the value of 3D players - since they won't have nearly the same level of usage on a good team. Fournier and Kemba don't provide that.

Fact is, neither one of them is a starter on a contender.

All of our starters are subpar for their roles.

On a contender?
Randle is not a 1A - he's a 3rd option at best, ideally a 6th man
RJ is not a 2nd option - he may not even be a rotation player on a contender
Fournier is not a 2nd option either - he's more like a 7th man on a contender
Kemba is not a starting PG - he's a spark plug coming off the bench

This team is not just one or two pieces away.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#14 » by JXL » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:02 pm

Chanel Bomber wrote:They're all underqualified for the roles they were put in.

Problem with guys like Fournier and Kemba is that we look at their numbers and we're like oh yeah, these guys averaged 20 or whatever so they can definitely be good starters for us.

Except they only put up numbers on average/mediocre teams, with the exception of that one season where Kemba played in the Bubble ECF. Their numbers were skewed. On a championship contender? They're way down the pecking order. Especially now that Kemba's past his prime. And ideally you want guys who are way down the pecking order (role players basically) to be able to defend - hence the value of 3D players - since they won't have nearly the same level of usage on a good team.

Fact is, neither one of them is a starter on a contender.

All of our starters are subpar for their roles.

On a contender?
Randle is not a 1A - he's a 3rd option at best, ideally a 6th man
RJ is not a 2nd option - he may not even be a rotation player on a contender
Fournier is not a 2nd option either - he's more like a 7th man on a contender
Kemba is not a starting PG - he's a spark plug coming off the bench

This team is not just one or two pieces away.


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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#15 » by WajaBawl » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:06 pm

JXL wrote:
WajaBawl wrote:Yes, and the FO's reluctance to admit that mistake and play younger, faster (McBride, Grimes, IQ starting), is why we're the new treadmill Orlando Magic.


Disclaimer: Unless you're otherworldly in your rookie season (ala Zion pre-NO diet, Ja, Luka), Thibs won't give major minutes to rookies unless you over-the-top impress him early on.


You don't have to be otherworldly to outperform Kemba and Fournier.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#16 » by Knicksfan1992 » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:06 pm

JXL wrote:
WajaBawl wrote:Yes, and the FO's reluctance to admit that mistake and play younger, faster (McBride, Grimes, IQ starting), is why we're the new treadmill Orlando Magic.


Disclaimer: Unless you're otherworldly in your rookie season (ala Zion pre-NO diet, Ja, Luka), Thibs won't give major minutes to rookies unless you over-the-top impress him early on.


This pretty much applies to every head coach who isn't forced to play rookies by upper management too. There's also no real correlation between minutes played and development as a rookie. There are countless examples of guys who are now All-NBA caliber who did not play that much in their first 1-2 years...

Paul George
Jimmy Butler
Bam Adebayo
Kyle Lowry
Rudy Gobert
Nikola Jokic

Just to name a few who were under 30 mpg their first 2 years.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#17 » by Angryfatboy » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:13 pm

Knicks signed Kemba and Fournier so we can make trae young play defense. We have a game coming up vs them soon so if we win the off season was 100% successful
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#18 » by moocow007 » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:13 pm

JXL wrote:
moocow007 wrote:If we were operating the hindsight machine, it probably would have made MUCH MORE sense to take the money invested in Fournier and Walker ($20 million per over 4 years for Fournier and $9 million per for 2 years for Walker) and funnel it to someone like Demar Derozan (who got $29 million per over 3 years).

Sure Derozan isn't a starting PG, but honestly if Walker is shot, he's also not a starting PG either right?

But at least Derozan is comfortable and quite capable of being able to handle the role that he would have found himself in (the no.1a or 1b option). As such, it's much more likely that he would not be as disappointing as the 2 aforementioned players. As far as "but how does he fit with Randle?" Look. An average NBA team takes how many shots a game? Even at his so called ball hoarding best how many shots can Randle need? Point being, on a team like this where there would have been very little other players justified to shoot in volume, having Derozan take what would have still probably been less shots than Walker and Fournier combined would have taken (had Walker been healthy and playing the role the Knicks had hoped for) wouldn't be taking shots away from others it very well could have actually given more opportunities than the projected Walker/Fournier duo would have.

It is what it is.

I think the Knicks FO spent way too much on role players and focused too much on trying to keep last seasons team intact.


DeRozan's role on this team would not have been the same for him now on the Bulls. The difference is utilizing his skillset and not conflicting with Julius (who the FO gave the extension to be their #1). While DeRozan would take much pressure off of Julius, he would have to re-adjust his skillset to benefit playing alongside Julius. I don't think that's what DeRozan wanted.

I will agree that overspending on the bench was a bit too much with the cap space they had, but its not crippling them like in years past. Also, they are playing up to the contract so far, so it balances out.


1. Derozan's contract is about the same AAV as Randle's so the contract they gave Randle isn't going to justify anyone being anything. The Knicks gave Randle that contract extension was because it was a bargain (just like Derozan's contract with the Bulls was) and they couldn't afford to let their most talented player leave given how little talent they have.

2. Thibs plays the guys that he feels can best produce for him so there's no indication that he would play Randle in the same role if he feels that Derozan can perform better. Not that Derozan would have but it's not hard to argue that Derozan has been in more pressure filled roles coached by better coaches that Randle has and has a more stable history as a top producer than Randle has.

3. Derozan averaged almost 7 apg last season as the primary facilitator and shot creator for the Spurs. This team needs facilitation and shot creation as 2 of their most pressing needs on offense cause the alternative is that you just have to rely on Julius Randle...to once again...do more than what should realistically be expected of him (cause ready he's not a Lebron James level player).

4. He's on a team (the Bulls) that have more offensive options and 2 guys (not just 1) that needs the ball and has adjusted just fine. And he's added that degree of stability and leadership that the Bulls lacked which, you can argue, this team also needs.

5. Having a 2nd guy that can actually create his own shot at a high level will also actually benefit Randle cause he won't be fighting through double and triple teams and staggered defenses pretty much every time he touches the ball. We want to put players (even guys we're angry at) in the best positions to succeed right? That's why we got Walker wasn't it? It wasn't to get Walker to be a Steve Nash, it was to get Walker to be a guy that can take the focus off of Randle when it comes to opposing team defenses by drawing some of that attention away from Randle. That's what Walkers elite skill is, drawing defenses cause he's a volume scoring ball heavy PG.

So I'm really not sure why you guys are saying that he would be an worse fit and that would have to adjust more. Just because it's not ideal (ideal is Steph Curry or similar) doesn't mean it isn't a better option. If Walker was closer to the prime time Walker then his fit is probably better right? But he doesn't look it so...it's not.
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#19 » by god shammgod » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:18 pm

yes
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Re: Was it a mistake to bring in Walker and Fournier? 

Post#20 » by prophet_of_rage » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:22 pm

Both was too much. One or the other.

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