It’s a fire sale in Orlando, and we’re not talking about Disney World here.
The Orlando Magic continued to sell off assets on Thursday (trade deadline day), sending veteran combo guard Evan Fournier to the Boston Celtics in exchange for a pair of second-round draft picks.
The Celtics were desperate to make a move at the deadline, also sending Daniel Theis and Javonte Green to the Chicago Bulls for Mo Wagner and Luke Kornet. Though Wagner and Kornet are unlikely to make any sort of significant impact, Fournier seems like a great get for the boys in green.
Celtics president Danny Ainge addressed his thoughts about the move in a statement released on Thursday.
“Evan has established himself as a highly-efficient scorer, whose combination of shooting and playmaking will make an immediate impact on this team,” Ainge said. “He’s someone who has consistently produced on the offensive end, and we think his unique abilities will fit in seamlessly with our current group.”
Fournier is unlikely to be ready for Boston’s matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, and with the absences of Theis and Tristan Thompson, they will be severely undermanned in the front court at Fiserv Forum. The Bucks as -5.5 point favorites at -114 NBA odds could be one of the best bets for today if Boston is shorthanded.
Fournier, 28, is likely to move to the bench for Boston, where he will lead a Celtics bench unit that is averaging just 32.3 points per game this season, fifth-worst in the NBA. Fantasy owners should expect a bit of a dip in the Frenchman’s numbers, but not a crazy amount, as Fournier should still be able to accrue 25-30 minutes a night playing in the sixth man role.
However, the change of role will likely take time for Fournier to adjust to—just like the change of scenery from Florida to Massachusetts—considering he was an every night starter for the Magic over the past five years after spending the first three seasons of his NBA career mostly coming off the bench for the Magic and the Denver Nuggets, who drafted him back in 2012.
The Celtics were lucky they were even able to snag Fournier, as they had to use a part of the trade exception they created last season when they let Gordon Hayward go to do so, according to the Associated Press.
Fournier will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and has not confirmed he will re-sign with Boston, which would explain the light haul they received for a scoring combo guard of his caliber. The Saint-Maurice native is putting up 19.4 points, 2.8 triples, and 3.7 assists per game this season, all of which are career-highs.
Orlando, for its part, continues to stack draft picks as they look to rebuild around youngsters Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac, both of whom have been injured for most of this season, but who are both under long term contracts.