A flurry of Friday and Saturday transactions that included trading Tristan Thompson and Moses Brown was supposed to make the Celtics a little more flexible heading into free agency. Apparently, not flexible enough. The Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy is reporting that the Celtics and Evan Fournier are far apart on a new contract:
According to a league source, negotiations between the Celtics and Evan Fournier are close to stalling, with the team unwilling to meet the valuable wing player’s asking price of $80 million over four years.
Though it’s unclear what the Celtics are offering, “it’s not looking good,” said the source.
Murphy also reports that one of Fournier’s potential landing sports could be New York. The Knicks are projected to have over $50 million in cap space when free agency opens on August 2nd.
As Murphy notes, Fournier has put on quite an exhibition during Olympic play in Tokyo. The French swingman scored 28 points against Team USA and teammate Jayson Tatum and has lead France to a 3-0 record in group play.
Yesterday, Boston acquired Josh Richardson from the Dallas Mavericks and fit him in the remainder of the Gordon Hayward traded player exception. Fittingly (pun intended), it was the balance of that TPE that brought Fournier to Boston for sixteen regular season games and five in the playoffs.
Richardson makes for a decent backup plan if Boston does inevitably lose Fournier to a more expensive price tag, but with free agency still in its infancy, there’s still plenty of maneuvering that can be done to clear cap space. Including Brown into the deal with Dallas helps and there are rumors that Dunn could also be on the move before ever stepping a foot in The Auerbach Center this summer.