FanPost

Evan Fournier

Surprised no one has mentioned him on this website. A Wing/SG out of france who seems to be a first round lock. Timberwolves seem to like the foreign players and he fits a need.

Some things I've read about him

Strengths: Has a really solid, strong body that helps him attacking the rim; he is not so explosive, but his first step allows him to beat opponents off the dribble ... Very crafty offensively. He is a natural talent, and can score in many ways: shooting from three, attacking the basket and spotting up ... Very adept at driving and dishing ... Also has a nice left hand, and can grab rebounds, both in offense and defense ... The trademark to his game is his ability to score clutch baskets. He seems to live for crunch time ... Sees the floor exceptionally well for a 19 year old ... He also is a very difficult defensive assignment because he is always in motion, working hard to get open looks ... Defensively, he has nice position and good foot work, plays smart, not overly aggressive ... Tremendous attitude, work ethic. Willing to put the work in to maximize his abilities ...

Weaknesses: Plays below the rim. Below average explosiveness will make finishing at the rim a challenge for him in the NBA ... He doesn’t have any great defects, but absolutely needs to improve his three point shot, still too inconsistent to be a threat at the NBA level ... He can do almost everything on the basketball court, but has areas that must be improved upon: he must pass better, shoot with more confidence, finish better ...

Overall: Became the youngest player in French League history to score more than 20 points ... A player that is very advanced for his age and considered the top International prospect for the 2012 NBA draft ... If he is inserted into a well balanced system, he could have an immediate impact on the game, and could be an important member of a supporting cast ... Fournier will have until June 18th to decide to withdraw or leave his name in this year's NBA draft ...

French swingmanEvan Fourniercame into the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit with some recognition after stringing together some very intriguing performances for Poiters in Pro A France over the past few months.



He stood out immediately in the practice sessions with his excellent size, mature frame, high skill level and terrific scoring instincts on the wing. He plays at a very nice pace and has a smoothness and craftiness to his game that enables him to get into the paint off the dribble, utilizing his deceptive athleticism and very aggressive mentality.

He uses jab-steps nicely and has strong footwork and ball-handling skills, showing especially nice timing on his drives, where he can use spin moves and finish elegently. He also displayed a very good feel for the game, often throwing nice passes to set up his teammates off his penetration. In France he's at times the one who's asked to bring the ball up the floor for his team, demonstrating his intriguing versatility.

He showed the ability to finish in transition and in the paint against the other World Team members, but he struggled in the game, shooting 2-8 from the floor, and looking somewhat nervous and clearly being bothered by the length of Team USA at the rim.

In the practices and from the game-film we watched it seems like he does an excellent job of using his strong body around the rim to shield opponents and finish through contact, though, so it's possible he may have just been pressing in the actual game.

A big key will be his growth as a jump-shooter, as he's only shooting 19% (7-36) from behind the 3-point line this season for Poiters. From what we observed in practice, this looks to be correctable as he has nice form in his upper body and release, but has some trouble with his lower body and footwork, with his momentum carrying him too far forward.

Defensively, Fournier has good size at 6-7, but average length (6-7 ½ wingspan). He played hard all week in the practices and scrimmages, showing solid toughness, but may lack a degree of lateral quickness to guard some of the more explosive players he'll eventually match up with in the NBA.

Ultimately, his performance on Saturday night was a bit of a disappointment after such solid showings in practice, but Fournier shows great promise and clearly has NBA potential down the line if he improves his perimeter shot and continues to produce at a high rate in Europe.

PLAYER EVALUATION

Projection Late First Round Pick
Positives
  • Smooth, scoring wing
  • Excellent penetrator
  • Nice midrange jumper
Negatives
  • Needs to add strength
  • Needs to improve his three point range
  • May lack the lateral quickness to defend his position
Notes
  • Fournier has declared for the 2012 NBA Draft.
  • Play for Poiters in France. Averaging 14 ppg on 55 percent shooting in 30 mpg during the 2011-12 season.
Photo ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images
May 18 Update: The New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets are hosting the first big draft workout of the season this weekend. Unfortunately, the main draw, France's Evan Fournier, won't be there. Fournier hurt himself in France earlier in the week and had to withdraw from the workout. Right now Fournier is the only international player we have projected as a first-round pick. If he can't get healthy enough to work out for teams, his stock could take a hit. It looks like he's targeting the adidas Eurocamp as a spot where he can show off his wares, but with a compressed draft season this year, how many NBA decision-makers are going to make the trip to Treviso?

May 14 Update: Fournier is the only likely first-rounder in the group of NBA draft prospects expected at a camp in New Jersey this weekend. His size at shooting guard and his production in France could make him the only international player taken in the first round.

Apr 1 Update: Fournier will declare for the 2012 NBA Draft. Fournier is a productive, scoring two guard who thrives at getting to the basket. He has good size for his position and is producing as a 19 year old in the French League. He needs to get stronger and he really needs to improve his jump shot, but teams could take a flier on him in the late first round.

Feb 22 Update: Fournier was last seen on this side of the Atlantic in this past spring's Nike Hoop Summit, where I loved what I saw of him in the practices but he finished with an underwhelming performance in the game. Prior to that he had been playing in France's Pro A league, where he was the youngest player to ever score 20 points in a game, surpassing Tony Parker's record.

At 6-7 and 19 years old, Fournier has excellent shooting guard size and good -- but not great -- athleticism, although at this point in his development, he is a below-average outside shooter. And, while not armed with great ballhandling skills, he is an effective slasher to the basket. Currently he's averaging 14 points per game for Poitiers, but is shooting 27 percent from behind the arc.

While Fournier has prototype NBA wing size, there is still a lot of polishing up left for him to do. But his track record is solid and he's young enough that there is plenty of time for him to do so.

We could trade up from the second, or trade down from our first. Or take him at our first. Thoughts?

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