It may not have been the trade Celtics fans have been salivating for or the player they most covet from Orlando, but this is a good pick-up for Boston for the rest of the season.
The Celtics have reached a deal to acquire Evan Fournier from Magic in exchange for two second-round picks. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news.
Teams are finalizing the deal now, source tells ESPN. https://t.co/Rc27IxxhnB
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
Boston reportedly is absorbing Fournier’s $17 million salary into part of the Gordon Hayward trade exception — it’s good to see Celtics president Danny Ainge use the exception, but on a $17 million expiring contract is an interesting choice (but maybe it’s the best move if they can’t get the other Orlando star). Don’t be shocked if this deal expands in some fashion.
Even if it doesn’t, it’s a quality pick-up for the rest of this season for Boston. Fournier averages 19.8 points a game this season in Orlando, is hitting 38.8% from three, can put the ball on the floor a little, and is a quality, floor-spacing two-guard. Also, Fournier is one of the more popular guys in the Magic locker room, a guy who cracks jokes and was positive in the face of a lot of negative over the years in Orlando. Fournier was already joking with Celtics fans online.
Fournier becomes a free agent this offseason — Boston has to decide if it wants to pay up or let him walk — but this definitely makes them deeper at the guard/wing slot.
Orlando is rebuilding and will take the picks rather than lose Fournier for nothing after the season.
With the trades of Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Fournier, Orlando has gone all-in on rebuilding. As it should.