2 Ideal Options Celtics Should Target with Evan Fournier’s TPE: Report

Getty Images NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 17: Evan Fournier #13 of the New York Knicks during a press conference at Madison Square Garden on August 17, 2021

The details of Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens’ sign-and-trade with the New York Knicks were finalized, Tuesday morning.

Boston dealt Evan Fournier, along with a 2023 second-round pick, and a conditional 2022 second-round selection that belongs to the Charlotte Hornets (top-55 protected) in exchange for cash considerations.

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According to Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, the Celtics created a traded player exception worth roughly $17.1 million. Unlike Gordon Hayward’s historic TPE in 2020, Stevens will look to capitalize on his earnings sooner (Kris Dunn’s trade restriction expires after October 6) rather than later.

With another chance to bolster the roster, here are two candidates that could be targeted soon.

Memphis Grizzlies’ Kyle Anderson

As MassLive.com’s Brian Robb pointed out earlier this summer, Memphis Grizzlies’ Kyle Anderson is a player who the Celtics have had eyes for quite some time. There’s a lot to like about Anderson’s game, including his defense, which yielded 1.2 steals a night. He also averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists, per Basketball-Reference.com, throughout 2020-21.

Those are the kinds of numbers that Celtics head coach Ime Udoka could use in the frontcourt this upcoming season. And while the Celtics don’t have a first-round pick in 2022 to offer up, (Boston dealt its 2021 first-round pick to OKC; NBA teams cannot trade first-round picks in back-to-back seasons, per Stepien Rule) that should be fine with the Grizzlies. Currently positioned to make three first-round selections in next summer’s NBA draft, Memphis wouldn’t mind adding Boston’s 2023 first-round pick to its treasure trove of assets while taking on Kris Dunn’s expiring deal.

This move would free up cap space for the Grizzlies to make a run at a free agent to pair with their franchise cornerstone star Ja Morant. If, of course, Memphis decides Anderson is no longer a part of its future. The cards remain in the hands of the Grizzlies. Are they committed to Kyle for the long run? If not, he’ll most likely be on the move as he enters the final year of his four-year deal. With his final year worth just under $10 million, per Sportrac.com, it falls under Fournier’s TPE and is an ideal fit for Boston.

Utah Jazz’s Joe Ingles

It’s imperative for the Celtics to put a premium on shooting. It’s the best way of complementing Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s star talent, thus spreading the floor for creating more opportunities for others and a veteran of Utah Jazz Joe Ingles’ stature fits the bill.

Throughout 2020-21, Ingles connected on a career-best 45.1% of his 3-pointers while averaging 12.1 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.6 rebounds, per Basketball-Reference.com. Ingles, 33, also has plenty of playoff experience under his belt. Playing in 45 playoffs games, Joe’s delivered a few signature performances in the postseason — which is the kind of veteran that would help the Celtics contend against upper-echelon teams.

Utah is currently over the NBA luxury tax, thus moving Ingles for tax relief purposes could be in the cards at some point between early October and the 2022 trade deadline.