Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics are pulling the trigger on a trade.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania has reported that the Celtics have struck a deal with the Orlando Magic to acquire guard Evan Fournier. In exchange for Fournier’s services, Boston was originally set to send two second-round picks Orlando’s way, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. However, the deal has since been expanded to include former All-Star guard Jeff Teague.
According to Josh Robbins and Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Teague has been informed by the Magic that he doesn’t need to report as he will be waived.
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Fournier is Enjoying a Career Season
Fournier, 28, started all 26 of his appearances for Orlando this season. The nine-year pro is currently in the midst of his most prolific statistical season to date. A career 13.7 points ppg scorer entering 2020-21, Fournier is averaging a career-best 19.7 ppg, thanks in large part to his efficient shooting.
The French-born wing is shooting 46.1% from the floor and 38.8% from beyond the arc and should add an instant influx of scoring off the bench for Boston. Through 44 games, the Celtics bench has proven to be one of the least productive second-units in the NBA, averaging 32.3 ppg — fifth-fewest in all of basketball, per NBA Advanced Stats.
Fournier is set to hit the open market following the season, although Boston will now retain his Bird Rights. The veteran guard, who previously had a $17.15 million cap hit for the 2020-21 season, will now see that number increase to $17.45 million.
According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the 300K bump is a result of two sets of bonuses: “2nd rd. of the playoffs and Conf. Finals now being deemed likely (BOS reached both last yr).”
The trade puts Boston $1.6 million over the tax. The team will also need to open up a roster spot.
Celtics Lose Out On Aaron Gordon
Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports reported earlier that acquiring Fournier didn’t take Boston out of the mix to trade for the readily-linked to Aaron Gordon. Per Smith, the Celtics remained engaged in trade discussions with the Magic in hopes of acquiring the former No. 4 overall pick.
Unfortunately, that no longer appears to be the case. Shortly after Smith’s take, Wojnarowski broke the news that the Magic agreed on a deal to send the 25-year-old forward to the Denver Nuggets.
“Whatever the Celtics end up doing over the next several hours, regardless of whether Aaron Gordon has regrets about his trade request, there is one thing for certain: Gordon remains eager to be traded to Boston, sources tell The Athletic,” wrote Weiss.
As for the Magic, it certainly looks as if the organization is hitting the reset button. Fournier and Gordon become the second and third big-name player Orlando has moved off of ahead of today’s 3:00 p.m. ET deadline.
The team sent shockwaves throughout the NBA world earlier this morning when they opted to cut ties with All-Star center Nikola Vucevic, shipping him off to the Chicago Bulls in a four-player blockbuster.