19-year-old Evan Fournier is the No. 1 international prospect according to Draft Express. Standing at 6’7″ with shoes, Fournier has the prototypical height for a NBA 2-guard in addition to a natural offensive game and above-average midrange jumper.
Born in Saint Maurice, France, you would think that he would be following Nicholas Batum and Tony Parker closely given that they are both international players who have succeeded in the NBA and happened to grow up in the vicinity of Fournier. (Parker’s hometown is less than 200 miles away from Saint Maurice.)
That’s not the case. Instead, Fournier’s role model is Manu Ginobili. (H/T to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
“I can play point guard sometimes to help the team, because I like to have the ball in my hands,” Fournier said. “But I’m a shooting guard.”
San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili has served as a role model for the French player.
“I don’t have a favorite player but I love his game,” Fournier said
Ginobili is similar in stature, though his herky-jerky game and adept basketball knowledge will certainly be hard to replicate. Fournier doesn’t shoot very well from the perimeter either, converting at a 27.7% clip from behind the arc in the French league. It’s important to note that he’s only 19-years-old and has a lot of room to develop.
His best case scenario, according to Draft Express, is John Salmons and his worst-case scenario is Chris Douglas-Roberts whose career PER is an acceptable 11.6. Fournier is slated to be drafted in the latter half of the first round.
Fournier isn’t the first prospect to claim that they are patterning their games after a Spur. After his combine workout, Fab Melo said he was watching Tim Duncan closely. It wasn’t until this season where San Antonio finally received national recognition and maybe that appreciation has flowed to the younger players.
Given the choice between a more flashy player and Manu Ginobili or Tim Duncan, Fournier and Melo are making the right choice. Ultimately, it’s up to them to decide how much they want to gleam from their incredibly successful role models.