Report: Celtics More Optimistic About Evan Fournier Contract After Kemba Walker Trade

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJune 18, 2021

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 01:  Evan Fournier #94 of the Boston Celtics handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets in Game Five of the First Round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on June 01, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

By dealing Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Boston Celtics reportedly made a step forward in securing the services of Evan Fournier.

Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported that the Celtics "feel better" about the possibility of re-signing Fournier, who joined the team from the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline. 

The Celtics also sent the No. 16 overall pick in the 2021 draft and a 2025 second-round pick to OKC to land Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-rounder in return, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

Fournier only appeared in 16 games for Boston during the regular season, though he was solid through those outings. He averaged 13.0 points, shooting 46.3 percent from deep, with 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists. 

The 28-year-old, who spent seven seasons in Orlando before heading north, is headed into free agency off a five-year, $85 million deal he had inked with Orlando. 

ESPN's Bobby Marks said he didn't expect Fournier to immediately command a deal worth $14-$16 million (h/t Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston). Though without better wings on the free-agent market, he could be worth something to a team that needs an additional offensive piece.

Fournier's statistics might not be all that representative of what he'd be capable of elsewhere, since his usage rate dropped from 26.2 in Orlando to 16.5 in Boston, the latter putting him in the 49th percentile at the position, per Forsberg.

Walker was only in Boston for two years, but he was a largely important piece behind Boston's dynamic duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. After missing the start of the year to recover from a knee injury, Walker averaged 19.3 points with 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds.

In a new-look lineup, Boston will need additional offensive production, so Fournier could see an increased role should he stick around.