When the Boston Celtics signed and traded Evan Fournier to the New York Knicks last summer, they created a trade exception of $17.1 million. They have until July 18 to use this exception before it expires. In light of their most recent acquisition of Malcolm Brogdon, it appears the Celtics are not likely to use the trade exception, according to Jay King of The Athletic.
“Acquiring Brodgon’s contract, which will pay him $67.6 million over the next three seasons, shows how serious the Celtics are about pursuing a championship with the current core. They will be set to shoulder a significant tax bill even if they fail to use their big $17.1-million trade exception. Stevens still has until July 18 to look for further additions with that roster tool, but the Celtics have already explored the market thoroughly and do not expect that search to produce fruit, according to a league source.”
King later added that the Celtics decided that Brogdon was their best option.
“After doing all the due diligence, the team considered Brogdon a better option than any player who would have fit into the big TPE.”
Brogdon is slated to make $22,600,000 during the 2022-23 season, which means that he would have been too expensive to acquire with the Fournier TPE.
Boston’s Remaining Options With the Fournier TPE
After relaying that it’s most likely that the Celtics won’t use the Evan Fournier trade exception, King brought up that if they were, it would probably be on a center since the team included Daniel Theis in the Malcolm Brogdon trade.
“If they do use it, not the most likely scenario at this point, targeting a backup center would make sense. After moving Theis, the Celtics could use a worthy third big man to soak up minutes behind Al Horford and Robert Williams. They also could fill that void with a veteran’s minimum contract.”
Keep in mind that the Celtics will be paying a big luxury tax bill as it is with the Brogdon trade. Also, if they traded for a center, he would be competing for minutes with Horford, Robert Williams, Grant Williams, and possibly the soon-to-be-acquired Danilo Gallinari. In other words, if they used that exception on a center being paid $17.1 million or less, they would be paying a lot of money for someone who wouldn’t get many minutes when the team is fully healthy.
Celtics Interested in Thomas Bryant
It appears the Celtics have already started to look into filling the void left by Theis. On July 1, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported that Boston was interested in Thomas Bryant. However, it appears that their long-time rival the Los Angeles Lakers, who Bryant played for in the 2017-18 season, are interested in a reunion with him.
Brad Turner of the LA Times later confirmed the Lakers’ interest in Bryant but also reported that the Toronto Raptors wanted him too.
As of July 2, there has been nothing new to report on who Bryant signs with. However, if Bryant ultimately chooses not to join the Celtics, Boston has at least brought back center Luke Kornet for a third go-round to assist their frontcourt.
It’s yet to be determined if that’s who they see as Theis’ replacement.