We’ve heard about that damn trade exception for months.
Last off-season, the Charlotte Hornets acquired Gordon Hayward from the Boston Celtics via sign-and-trade, leaving the C’s with a $28 million trade exception that was to excite everyone all season long regarding the various players on which it could be utilized. As badly and as obviously as the Celtics needed a big man, in particular, a big portion of their exception left during Thursday’s trade deadline in exchange for Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic. According to ESPN, Fournier was moved for two second-round picks, but according to Basketball-Reference, he was swapped for Jeff Teague, who was bought out and will join the Milwaukee Bucks.
Either way, whatever.
The Celtics brought in yet another guard in Fournier, who is banking $17 million on his expiring contract this season, meaning Boston could at least claim Bird Rights to keep him over the summer. Schematically, Fournier rose eyebrows given that Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown are already on the roster, along with combo forward Jayson Tatum, and again, the team still doesn’t have a center you can trust in the playoffs. Robert “Time Lord” Williams is still very young, and Tristan Thompson is having one of the worst seasons of his NBA career. Thompson has an obvious playoff pedigree, but there was also a reported rift between him and the team until the players shut that down. (Which means there still might be.)
But hey, at least Fournier is already in the Celtics’ record books.
Last night he made his debut for the now 23-24 Boston-based ballclub, who lost 115-109 to the New Orleans Pelicans. With Brown’s absence, Fournier had a clear runway to playing substantial minutes… and he didn’t do shit.
In about 33 minutes, he shot 10 times and missed every single one, finishing with as many points as you have this season, and was a -12. According to StatMuse, it is the most scoreless minutes by a Celtic with 10+ attempts in over 40 years.
At 19.7 points per game on 46 / 39 / 80 shooting splits at the time of the trade, Fournier is in the midst of a career season, and he’s been too proficient not to turn this around. But even if he does, is a small-ball lineup of Walker-Smart-Fournier-Brown-Tatum enough to challenge the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference playoffs this season?
Boston doesn’t seem to think so because we’ve already heard about all those damn almost-deals.
Fournier will shake it off, but damn, son — you guys should least sign Dewayne Dedmon or something.