Evan Fournier’s arrival in Boston won’t cause jubilation, but the team still can be proud of itself for landing him.
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton gave the Celtics a B+ grade for the reported trade it made with the Orlando Magic on Thursday to acquire the shooting guard. Boston’s bench has struggled to score this season, and Fournier is expected to add a desperately needed punch to the second unit. By landing him in exchange for two second-round NBA Draft picks, Pelton believes the Celtics will receive a good player in Fournier for a low price.
“… The sign-and-trade the Celtics struck with the Charlotte Hornets sending Hayward to Charlotte ultimately allowed them to replace him with Fournier, whose $17.5 million salary will exhaust the bulk of the massive $28.5 million exception Boston created from trading Hayward.
“Given the inability of any of the Celtics’ young wings to step up and replace Hayward, Fournier will be a major upgrade. In particular, his ability to create his own offense efficiently will help a Boston team that’s short on playmaking for others.
“The price for Fournier was also reasonable from a couple of standpoints. First, unlike the bigger names to whom Boston was linked, Fournier didn’t cost a first-round pick — meaning the Celtics still have all of theirs to trade moving forward. Second, his salary should allow Boston to skirt the luxury tax by trading a couple of minimum-salary players before the deadline.”
The good grade Pelton gave the Celtics follows the positive review an unnamed NBA player gave Thursday via Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.
Sure, Fournier doesn’t represent the blockbuster deal some were hoping the Celtics would make but he might make a marginally positive difference. It’s hard to overstate how important that could be in tightly contested races for playoff positions in the Eastern Conference.
For what it’s worth, Pelton gave the Magic an A- for the Fournier trade after they received something of value for a player they almost certainly would have lost in the offseason for nothing in return.