Grantland: Predicting the Draft Sleepers (Evan Fournier) Click on link for Video
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Strength: Getting to the Rim Off of Ball Screens
Nineteen-year-old Evan Fournier posted over 20 points per game last season in the French pro league. His biggest asset is his ability to get all the way to the rim off of a ball screen. He plays off of screens 50.8 percent of the time, shooting on 54.2 percent of those attacks. This past season, Fournier posted a PPP of 0.903 on 43.9 percent shooting, placing him in the top 25 percent of all international players (tracked by Synergy Sports). The reason for his high efficiency is that Fournier gets to the rim at a very high rate.
Fournier has pretty good length, which is what allows him to finish over help defenders attempting to block his shots. If he sees a lane, he tries to get to the front of the rim, but if necessary, he'll throw a hesitation move at the defense.
He has one year left on his contract with his French team, the Poitiers, though it has been reported that a buyout is possible.
Weakness: Off-Ball Defense
Fournier doesn't really stay focused all the time, especially on the defensive end. He has a tendency to lose track of his man, because he overhelps or because he ball-watches, which prevents him from closing out hard. According to Synergy Sports, in spot-up situations, Fournier allows opponents to shoot 43.6 percent while posting a PPP of 1.138, putting him in the bottom 20 percent among international players.
Player Comparison: Less-Skilled James Harden
Both Harden and Fournier come off of ball screens looking to get to the rim. Harden has more moves right now — though Fournier has a nice hesitation move — but their mentality is very similar.