Celtics Rumors: Latest on Bradley Beal Trade, Evan Fournier Market and More

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IJuly 29, 2021

Celtics Rumors: Latest on Bradley Beal Trade, Evan Fournier Market and More

0 of 3

    John Locher/Associated Press

    The Boston Celtics have already undergone a pretty seismic organizational transformation.

    Former president of basketball operations and longtime general manager Danny Ainge stepped down from the position, only to be replaced by head coach Brad Stevens. The new lead executive wasted little time making his first move.

    Stevens traded point guard Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder and attached this year's first-round pick to get the Thunder to take Walker's contract. Suddenly, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the only bona fide stars on the roster. Well, at least for the moment.

    Star Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has once again entered the spotlight, and the Celtics could be players if he requests a trade. Here is the latest on Beal, as well as free-agent guard Evan Fournier's expected market and the Celtics' possible target with their second-round pick in Thursday's draft.

Boston Deemed a 'Real' Option for Beal

1 of 3

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Bradley Beal will almost assuredly be a figure of interest this offseason.

    Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported recently that Beal is weighing a trade request ahead of Thursday's draft. Fischer listed multiple teams that might be on Beal's list of preferred destinations, with the Celtics being one of those.

    Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington said on the Celtics Talk podcast that the possibility Beal ends up on the Celtics is legitimate because of his relationship with Jayson Tatum.

    "I would say this: The Tatum thing is real," Miller said (via Justin Leger of NBC Sports Boston). "Bradley would have never considered Boston if Tatum wasn't there."

    Beal and Tatum grew up together in St. Louis. Their paths might again be intertwined with both enjoying NBA superstardom. Tatum would love to play with Beal. The Celtics star commented a shamrock on an Instagram post analyzing the Golden State Warriors' reported interest in Beal. 

    It seems unlikely the Celtics would trade Jaylen Brown in a Beal package. That means, to make the money work, Boston would likely have to part with Marcus Smart and Tristan Thompson as a starting point.

    Washington is likely to request young players, so the Celtics might have to add Robert Williams and Aaron Nesmith or Romeo Langford into the mix. That's on top of the draft capital likely necessary to supplement the players in any such Beal package.

    Perhaps all the hypothesizing is moot. Fred Katz of The Athletic reported Monday that Beal had yet to request a trade and that there was not even a "timid suggestion" he would do so, though he is thinking about his future with the organization.

    In any case, the Celtics could be a team to watch if Beal is made available. 

Fournier Could Have Strong Market in Free Agency

2 of 3

    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    The primary reason for the Kemba Walker trade was financial flexibility, with freed-up cap space possibly being spent on Evan Fournier.

    Boston acquired Fournier from the Orlando Magic ahead of the March trade deadline. He performed well with the Celtics, averaging 13.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 16 games while also shooting a whopping 46.3 percent from beyond the arc on nearly six attempts per game. Fournier upped his production in a first-round playoff loss to the Brooklyn Nets, averaging 15.4 points per contest.

    The 28-year-old gave the Celtics a much-needed perimeter threat and floor-spacer. He is also a capable secondary handler and playmaker. Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported the team felt "better" about its chances to re-sign Fournier after the Walker trade.

    Still, keeping Fournier in Celtic green could be tough.

    Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the New York Knicks, a team with ample cap space, could make a run at Fournier. Additionally, the Frenchman is reportedly expected to ask for $18 million a season.

    It is worth wondering whether the Celtics will be aggressive in trying to re-sign Fournier early in free agency or if they hope an avenue to acquire Beal or someone like Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard opens up.

    Regardless, Fournier has decent free-agent stock, and he might have built on that by leading France to an upset win over Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics.

Celtics Might Be Eyeing Austin Reaves

3 of 3

    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    The Celtics have just one pick in Thursday's draft. And they appear to be targeting yet another wing scorer and playmaker.

    Chris Grenham of Forbes reported that the Celtics planned to bring Oklahoma guard Austin Reaves in for a workout earlier this week. Grenham noted Reaves has been a pretty strong riser on draft boards as of late after his performance at the combine in June.

    Reaves was terrific for the Sooners this past season, averaging 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He shot a little more than 30 percent from beyond the arc, but the Wichita State transfer noted that number is so low because he took tons of contested jumpers. 

    "At Wichita, I would say about 95 percent of my shots were catch-and-shoot good looks," Reaves said, per Grenham. "Going to Oklahoma with the role change, I took a lot of off-dribble, late shot clock, tougher shots. I think I had some of the fewest catch-and-shoot opportunities in the country just because of how defenses were playing us as a team."

    The Celtics are more likely to be interested in the assist mark. Should Reaves fall to the C's, he would probably play on the point. Indeed, he and ESPN's Mike Schmitz went deep talking about Reaves' similarities to Utah Jazz point forward Joe Ingles.

    Time will tell whether Reaves is still on the board when the Celtics are on the clock with the 45th pick, but he's someone they could target in the second round.


    All stats obtained via Basketball Reference or CBB Reference.