Knicks guard Evan Fournier looks on against the Boston Celtics...

Knicks guard Evan Fournier looks on against the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

HOUSTON — As he readied to make his debut with the Pistons on Monday, Evan Fournier told reporters that he was excited to be in Detroit and added a sensible but still harsh summary of his time in New York.

“I’m really excited to finally be out of New York,” Fournier said. “Looking forward to a new opportunity. As soon as I got traded, Detroit called me and said they wanted me the last couple of seasons.”

It is with good reason that Fournier was happy to find the exit after spending much of last season and nearly all of this season buried on the bench, waiting for the team to use his contract as a trade chip. This came after he set a franchise record for three-point field goals in his first season with the Knicks.

“Yeah, he did a good job for us,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Sometimes things change. The strengths of your club change. When we signed him, we felt a really good fit. He had a great year for us. I have great respect for him and certainly wish him well in Detroit.

“You always have to do what’s best for your team. So sometimes that means guys go out of the rotation,” Thibodeau said. “It’s not about liking a guy or not liking a guy. You have to do what’s best for your team.”

Quentin Grimes, who also went to Detroit in the deal on Thursday that brought Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic to the Knicks, was pleased to have a new opportunity after struggling to find his place this season.

“For sure, I feel like every year I got the opportunity, whether it was guys out or summer league, stuff like that, everybody knows I can put the ball on the floor and make plays for myself and my teammates,” Grimes said. “So I feel like coming here with a new group of guys, I’m going to have the ball more.

Randle’s recovery

More than two weeks after Julius Randle suffered a dislocated right shoulder, Thibodeau didn’t have an update on when he will return but said it will be as soon as possible.

“The one thing about Julius is he’s going to give you everything he has no matter what he’s doing,” Thibodeau said. “If he’s playing or doing rehab, you’re going to get maximum effort from him. Julius doesn’t sit out with soreness.”

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