Heading into Thursday’s trade deadline, it was apparent that the Boston Celtics were not going to let the clock expire without pulling the trigger on at least one trade. Danny Ainge was able to join in on the Orlando Magic firesale and execute an Evan Fournier trade that saw Boston sacrifice two second-round picks.
Ainge had a goal coming in to add some much-needed help on the offensive end, and he did just that with the addition of Evan “Don’t Google His Name” Fournier. Now that the Evan Fournier trade is official, what is the outlook of the rest of the Celtics season?
What Impact Will The Evan Fournier Trade Have On The Boston Celtics?
What Role Will Fournier Play?
The Evan Fournier trade is going to pay major dividends for Boston, as the team will incorporate a 20 PPG scorer on an efficient 46/39/80 shooting split. In addition, Fournier provides Boston with an additional scorer who can handle the ball late in the game, taking pressure off of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker in late-game situations.
Boston’s combination of guards and wings is one of the best the league has to offer, as Kemba-Smart-Brown-Tatum, at their best, is a nightmare on both ends of the floor. So, how does Fournier factor into the fold.
Fournier was perhaps Orlando’s first-option as the primary ball-handler, with former teammate Nikola Vucevic cleaning up the glass and dominating the paint to earn his keep. While Fournier definitely has the scoring touch of a starter, he may flourish as the primary option off the bench.
The Celtics’ bench is 26th in the league in scoring, at 32.2 PPG. If the Evan Fournier trade was executed to add some bulk to the scoring load on the second unit, the Frenchman’s numbers may transition smoothly in a new role.
In the middle of a career-high year in scoring and efficiency, it is safe to say the Boston Celtics were able to pull off the Evan Fournier trade at just the right time while sacrificing very little.
Is The Evan Fournier Trade A Rental Agreement?
Part of the reason the Orlando Magic were so willing to deal Fournier for so little was because he is a pending free agent at the end of the season, and is likely headed for a bigger payday. The Celtics had their coveted Gordon Hayward Traded Player Exception worth over $28 million, which Fournier may dip into. Danny Ainge, however, was fairly optimistic that the Evan Fournier trade was not strictly a rental and that the former Magic alumni will resign in the offseason.
Danny Ainge thinks Evan Fournier could potentially be with the Celtics beyond this season.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 26, 2021
While we are yet to see Fournier on the floor for Boston, if all goes according to plan, he is absolutely somebody who the Celtics should look to bring back for their future. His scoring production that could come as the third or fourth option is too valuable for their title hopes this year and the next stretch of seasons.
Danny Ainge said he deviated from not using the TPE in-season and on an expiring player because the Celtics had a chance to get a good player in Evan Fournier. He also said the Celtics have a chance to re-sign Fournier this summer.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) March 26, 2021
While he is not the flashiest name on the market, with the Celtics missing out on Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic, Fournier’s contribution could be just enough to push the Celtics to the next level. What that level is, remains to be seen.
While the addition of the Evan Fournier trade was a welcome one, there was one departure may have left a sour taste in Celtics fandom, but might be the spark plug to something bigger.
Daniel Theis traded to the Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls fans may not know the kind of player they have on their hands with Daniel Theis. Undersized as a big in today’s NBA, he plays bigger than his size and will more than likely be the most energetic player on the floor for you. While the War On Theis has ended in Boston, time awaits as we see if his relationship with NBA officials will be smoothed over in a new city, or if his misfortune will carry over to the Windy City.
Nonetheless, Theis was a professional in Boston in every sense of the word. He improved exponentially in each of his four seasons, becoming a perennial figure in Boston’s rotation and late playoff push in 2020. Now a backup behind Vucevic, Theis’ may go unappreciated in the eyes of Bulls fans at first glance. If he brings the same level of energy in Chicago as he did in Boston, his connection with the fans can only get stronger from here.
Much of Theis’ contributions would not appear on the box score, but Theis was super important for the continued development of players like Tatum and Brown. A great locker room presence, Theis would do much of the dirty work on both ends, while the franchise stars put the points on the board night-in and night-out. Again, despite being undersized, Theis’ presence will need to be filled soon and very soon in Boston, and that opened door may see the emergence of fan-favorite and budding rotational plug Robert “Timelord” Williams.
An Outlook To The Rest Of The Season
If the Celtics were willing to trade Daniel Theis hours after fans thought the Evan Fournier trade would be their sole move on Thursday, it is apparent that Boston has more plans in store. Now back under the luxury tax with the Theis transaction, Boston will be on the hunt in the buyout market, as they are connected to sought-after prize Andre Drummond, while keeping an eye on Otto Porter Jr, who may find himself bought out in Orlando.
Say Boston is able to incorporate another piece on the market, whether it is Drummond, Porter, DeMarcus Cousins, or whoever, Thursday’s deadline showed that the Celtics are choosing a direction. They moved on from players that they felt were not a part of their future, while bringing in immediate help who they feel can be a key piece in their next pursuit of championship claim. While they may not be done yet, there is no denying that the Boston Celtics have a plan in the works, and only time will tell if, or when, that plan comes to fruition.