Celtics Swing Evan Fournier Sign-and-Trade, Unload Multiple Picks

Celtics swing Evan Fournier Sign-and-Trade

Getty Evan Fournier #94 of the Boston Celtics passes the ball during the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.

Turns out the midseason acquisition of Evan Fournier will reap the Boston Celtics more than just a 21-game rental after all — approximately a $17.1 million trade exception to be exact, via Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

The New York Knicks have announced that they’ve acquired Fournier from the Celtics in a sign-and-trade. The deal sees Boston unloading two future draft picks in exchange for cash consideration. Per Himmelsbach, the picks in question are a 2023 second-round pick as well as a heavily top-55 protected 2022 second-rounder via the Hornets — the latter of which, as noted by Mass Live’s Brian Robb, is highly unlikely to “convey.”

As for the Celtics, they receive a sizable traded player exception (TPE) for the second consecutive offseason.

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Celtics Add Another TPE to the Mix

The deal is eerily reminiscent of the one that ultimately kickstarted Fournier’s eventual journey to Beantown. Last November, forward Gordon Hayward chose Charlotte in free agency, leading to a sign-and-trade that saw the Celtics send a pair of second-round draft picks to the Hornets and create a $28.5 million TPE in the midst — the largest in NBA history. Boston used a hefty chunk of that TPE to acquire Fournier from the Orlando Magic at last March’s trade deadline. They’ve since capped off the remainder of the TPE with the addition of Josh Richardson from the Dallas Mavericks.

The Celtics’ new $17.1 million trade exception becomes the team’s third TPE at their disposal, joining the $5 million remaining from the Daniel Theis-Bulls trade and the recently created $9.7 million TPE from shipping Tristan Thompson to the Sacramento Kings.

With the Celtics re-upping perceived starting point guard Marcus Smart on a four-year extension, the salary cap in the near future looks to be bleak. Yet, thanks to the Fournier TPE, the Celtics will once again have the ability to make a mid-season splash should they so choose.

Knicks Introduce Fournier

Fournier informed the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn earlier this month that his “priority going into the summer” was to remain with the Celtics. The organization had publically echoed a similar message from the moment they originally acquired him. However, the two parties reached an impasse in contract negotiations in the days leading up to the start of free agency. In return, the Frenchman agreed to a four-year, $78 million contract with the Knicks on the opening night of free agency.

“We identified Evan as a key addition as we entered free agency and are ecstatic that he’s joining us,” said New York Knicks President Leon Rose via the team’s official website. “He’s a great teammate, a fierce competitor, and a perfect complement to our returning players. He wants to be a part of what we are building here, and we are happy to have him join our family.”

Fournier averaged 17.1 points, 3.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 42 games last season spanning across his stints with both the Magic and Celtics. His abbreviated stay in Boston had its ups and downs, including an elongated battle with COVID-19. However, he proved to be a marksman from beyond the arc, knocking down 46.3% of his 3-point attempts over his 16 regular-season games.


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