The Boston Celtics have a lot on their plate this offseason, but they don’t really have to do anything at the same time. It’s confusing, but that’s just a testament to how their roster is built and how successful they were as a team last year, reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
They don’t have to do anything at all as all 10 of their core rotation players are already signed for next year. However, they have a lot of work to do because they want to improve and have a $17.1 million TPE to use.
Looking at goals, there are a number of names in the league that stand out. Well, a very intriguing name mentioned by CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith is Evan Fournier of the New York Knicks… the player Boston received the TPE for. It’s definitely an odd situation, but Smith breaks it down perfectly.
“Well… that’s awkward! Normally, teams are not allowed to win back a player they traded for a year,” Smith wrote. “Because Fournier’s sign-and-trade happened between seasons, this restriction only applied to the previous season, not the previous league year. So, yes, Boston could trade for Fournier via the TPE that was originally developed for him.”
But just because the Celtics are allowed to trade for Fournier doesn’t necessarily mean they should. And if they wanted to make a deal, they would have to do it soon.
Fournier trading should be happening soon
According to Smith, if the Celtics wanted to make a deal for Fournier, they would have to do so by early July, when the next league year officially begins.
“However, it is highly unlikely that this will happen. Fournier isn’t a perfect fit, plus he’s carrying some extra pay years that Boston might find burdensome,” Smith explained. “But it is technically possible. The key is that this would have to happen by June 30th. On July 1, Fournier’s contract becomes too large to fit in the Fournier TPE, making a deal impossible. Clear as mud? Well! Go on!”
As Smith mentioned, Fournier would not be a good fit in Boston. While his shooting and playstyle would be appreciated, his lackluster defense could lose him in Boston’s alternate-heavy defensive scheme.
Last year, Fournier averaged 14.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the Knicks on 41.7% shots from the field and 38.9% shots from distance.
He’s got a pretty big contract and based on the Knicks’ recent moves, they could be looking to get away from his money sooner rather than later.
Knicks could try to lower the salary
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported June 21 that the Knicks may be looking to make room for salary caps soon to sign Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson this summer.
“When forecasting their off-season deals, the Knicks are said to be targeting approximately $25 million in space to be able to track Dallas Mavericks point guard Jalen Brunson and are expected to book new homes for Alec Burks and Find Nerlen’s Noel. ‘ Fisher wrote.
Though Fournier wasn’t mentioned directly, they might jump at the opportunity if they could cheaply deduct from his salary. However, the Celtics probably shouldn’t be the team to do this.
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