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Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Evan Fournier

Discuss Draft Dreams on Twitter using the #DraftDreams hashtag


  • Measurables: 6-foot-7, 210 pounds, 19-year-old forward from Poitiers (France)
  • Key Stats: 14.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 52 percent and 27 percent from 3-point range
  • Projected: Mid first round

Why I’m intrigued by this guy

I obviously haven’t seen much of Fournier, since he’s an international prospect, but the name tossed around most often in comparisons is fellow Frenchmen Nicolas Batum. That comparison, along with the fact that France has produced significant NBA talent in recent years — Tony Parker, Batum, Boris Diaw, Roddy Beaubois to name a few — has me sufficiently excited about Fournier as a prospect.

Pros for the Pistons

Small forward is a position of need for the Pistons. I won’t start another Tayshaun Prince debate here, other than to say he’s getting older and, even if you believe he’s well-suited for big minutes now, that type of role is certainly not in his or the team’s best interest for the life of his contract. He needs to ease into a more secondary role and the Pistons need a successor.

The good news with Fournier? At age 19, he’s still a raw talent who, like Batum, may need to gradually work his way into the lineup. This would suit Prince, who is reportedly hesitant to cede the primary role he’s been in the past few seasons, and it could be good for the Pistons, who would have a competent veteran in place to keep in the small forward job as Fournier develops.

And if he develops? He’s a lanky slasher who handles the ball well, finishes well and, because of his length and athleticism, could project into a bothersome defensive player.

Cons for the Pistons

Fournier is currently projected to go just outside the lottery, somewhere in the 15-20 range. So if the Pistons like him, they might be reaching a bit if they take him with their lottery pick. That’s the only way they’d get him, too — there’s no way Fournier falls out of the first round. If anything, his youth and upside will help him climb. One thing that perhaps hurt his stock, as is mentioned below, is that Fournier didn’t play in this year’s Nike Hoops Summit, so he’s still a bit of an unknown commodity.

He’s also not a great 3-point shooter yet, something the Pistons desperately need more of. Putting Fournier on the floor with their other entrenched wing, Rodney Stuckey, would mean two of the Pistons’ three perimeter positions would be occupied by players who aren’t 3-point threats (although Stuckey has at least made that shot a more competent part of his arsenal). The Pistons undoubtedly will look big first in the lottery, but if their targets come off the board, Fournier is one of the prospects just outside the lottery who is a gamble but might have more upside than the more limited bigs towards the back of the lottery.

What others are saying

Chad Ford:

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.


He possesses ideal physical attributes for a NBA wing at 6-7 with a strong frame, and has the ability to create his own shot very effectively thanks to his excellent size, strength, and ball-handling skills. Despite his height, he’s able to get very low with his dribble, showing terrific footwork and body control driving into the lane, often using crafty change of speed moves, spins and hesitations.

Patient and mature with his drives, he reads the secondary line of defense extremely well, frequently making intelligent passes off the dribble to cutting teammates as help-side defenders rotate towards him.


Considered to be the top European shooting guard talent of the 1992 age group.

Ridiculous Upside:

The lowdown on Fournier: he has excellent size, plays at a free-flowing pace, quick, can handle the ball and finish, solid defensively and isn’t afraid to get into the paint.

How will this translate to the NBA, particularly when it comes to guarding bigger and stronger guards or wing players? Is he really first round material or will he slide into the second round come June 28, in Newark, New Jersey?

While there are a lot of “wait and see” factors to consider, the tools are certainly there in Fournier’s game.

What is the best thing Evan Fournier does for his team?

Wendell Maxeey (follow him on Twitter) is one of the best in the business when it comes to reporting on overseas basketball. He writes for Ridiculous Upside and read more about his background here. A must-read for die-hard hoops fans:

Evan Fournier is coming off a season with Poitiers in the Pro-A French League where his all around numbers (14 points per game, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game) and abilities certainly justify being a mid to late first round prospect this draft, but his stock did slip some by not participating in the Nike Hoop Summit last month. Lanky and athletic on both ends of the floor, the body type and French swagger screams Nicolas Batum, but at 19 years old (Fournier turns 20 in October) the transition to the NBA remains a mystery especially when it comes to guarding quicker and stronger two-guards. Still, Fournier has solid upside: high basketball IQ, good size at 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, and three years of pro experience under his belt. Don’t be surprised if a team like Houston or San Antonio makes a play for Fournier.



  • May 8, 201211:01 am
    by domnick


    i’d rather get draymond green than a project international prospect

  • May 8, 201211:12 am
    by ryan


    I’d rather get an international prospect that Draymond Green. Why is, seemingly, every Piston fan against international players?

    I have two thoughts pertaining to Evan Fournier. First I really liked the way the kid played through contact in the clip. I can’t stand flopping (Blake Griffin is killing me with all his flopping against Memphis) and I also get disgusted by people that don’t stay with the play. Second he really, really makes me want to trade down so that we could some how get two first round picks. That nine spot, if we get it, is just high enough to not get shit. Also if we get Fournier can we hire one of those French guys to call the names and finally fire Mason? Please?

    • May 8, 20123:03 pm
      by Shawn


      “Why is, seemingly, every Piston fan against international players?”

      Darko Milicic didn’t work out too well.

      • May 8, 20128:38 pm
        by djunak


        Jonas is working out compared to a highly talented 15th pick from the same draft I’d say.

        • May 8, 201210:41 pm
          by ryan


          Exactly JJ is doing well as is Nicolas Batum in Portland so it doesn’t make any sense. I mean should I say I don’t want Draymond Green because Mateen Cleaves sucked? WTF??

  • May 8, 201211:21 am
    by ryan



    I like this clip of him displaying that same toughness. Check out the look he gives the guy who hacks him.

  • May 8, 201211:35 am
    by JT's Hoops Blog


    He certainly seems very impressive, but is he worth the top ten pick that the Pistons will most likely receive? Personally I think the Pistons need some inside toughness and a point guard–a true PG.

  • May 8, 20123:45 pm
    by DG


    Pistons have bigger needs and he’s not a top 10 talent…Next.

  • May 8, 20124:20 pm
    by Hardy 3


    Out of everyone that has been flashed as a potential draft prospect I only like 4 guys who I think could help, 5 if we get the right ping pong ball (Anthony Davis). Meyers Leonard, Arnett Moutrie, Andre Drummond, and Darius Johnson-Odom are game changers. If we were to get lucky and scoop up Javale Mcgee in free agency  I believe the East top dogs would have to look over their shoulders every night when this young group of players (Pistons) comes to their town.

    • May 8, 20124:29 pm
      by oats


      The Pistons will not get McGee. The have no money to make an offer, and if they did Denver would match it. They didn’t move Nene for a half year of McGee. This is way more far fetched than Detroit winning the lottery, and that is almost certainly not going to happen either.

  • May 8, 20125:41 pm
    by sop


    He’d be an excellent pick in the 2nd but if he went that low we’d have to wait a long time to get him from Europe.

  • May 8, 201210:42 pm
    by ryan


    We need to trade down in order to get two picks in the draft. How do we make that happen?

    • May 9, 201212:31 am
      by gmehl


      I would imagine that any conversation about obtaining another 1st rounder would revolve around either giving up Monroe, Knight or Stuckey. The ideal outcome would be if we could get a late 1st rounder for Jerebko. This would be ideal because his money would come off the books and that along with any cap saved by amnestying CV or Gordon could be used on a free agent. Here is an idea that might work. Looking at the DraftExpress mock draft it has Boston with the 21st and 22nd pick. You would think that Doc Rivers would want to draft his son Austin but the mock draft has Houston picking him at 16. Maybe we could trade down and get both picks for say the our pick (assuming its 9th). That way we can pick from a combination of Moultrie, Nicholson, Green, Melo, Ezeli, Crowder or Leonard if he is still there (doubtful). Then we would still have our 2 second rounders to fill any gaps with more than likely the best players available are still on the board.

      • May 9, 20126:38 am
        by Tom Y.


        Jonas is better than an average 1st rounder. In this draft, maybe it’s equal value, but it’s still a gamble and you’d be trading a positive guy who’s an important part of your team.

        I do like the other idea though. I’m not sure they’d do it (unless there’s someone specific they’re targeting) but maybe we could sweeten it with our later 2nd rounder.

        • May 9, 20126:39 am
          by Tom Y.


          Also, I meant that Jonas is better than a late first rounder.

  • May 9, 20121:00 am
    by domnick


    why trade down? we should be trading up and get the best players…. instead of gambling your chances…

    we can trade our player for another pick..

    • May 9, 20129:31 am
      by oats


      The strength of this draft is it’s depth. The drop off from the 6th best prospect to the 7th best is pretty huge. The drop off from 9 to 29 is slight. That suggests that value can be found by either getting up to the top 6, or getting multiple guys in the latter half of the first round and seeing if they pan out. I prefer moving up, but that might be harder to do. Detroit doesn’t have a lot of assets to help them move up. Moving down just requires someone to love one of these guys that are in the range Detroit is drafting in. That seems easier to find to me than someone with a better pick willing to slide down into the range of interchangeable prospects.

    • May 9, 20125:02 pm
      by Desolation Row


      Doubtful we could land a higher pick through a trade, unless Ben Gordon miraculously grows another 12 inches (height-wise…).

  • May 9, 20125:00 pm
    by Desolation Row


    I don’t think anyone is too thrilled about guys who will be available at 9.. if the Stones end up there, Joe D should make a trade — I agree with the consensus that 2 first rounders or a solid rotation player + a later first round pick might make more sense if we can’t get a guy like Drummond. 

    We’ll see where the lottery balls fall. Davis would be a savior, but probability dictates the Pistons are going to have to look elsewhere to find the right piece… still blows my mind that they didn’t tank!

  • May 10, 201210:41 am
    by Guus


    Yeah, I think trading down would be easier than up: with the only problem that the team receiving our 9th would be in the same predicament we’re in, so I wonder if any team would trade UP to our ninth…

    I agree with Ryan, I like this kid. Also, keep in mind that stats from European leagues tell quite a different story. In Europe, we only play 10 mins per quarter, our rule on the first step of a drive is more strict and defensively, we allow handchecking on the perimeter.
    Fournier’s shooting mechanics look fine, so without the handchecking in the NBA, I don’t worry too much about his 3point shooting.

    I think trading down to get him would work, if we would be able to trade down in the first place…

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