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Celtics GM Danny Ainge gets blunt on motivation behind Evan Fournier trade

Evan Fournier Danny Ainge Celtics trade Star Wars A New Hope

Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge finally cashed in on their $28.5 million traded player exception (TPE) to acquire Evan Fournier from the Orlando Magic.

The Celtics clearly needed a change and Ainge noticed the bad vibes brewing among the players and the coaches. The 62-year old executive believes making a move now would change the mood in the locker room and give them some hope that they can still get on the right track this season.

Via Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald:

Danny Ainge had to make a trade. He read it in the body language of his players and the frustration of his coaches. Now you have Evan Fournier, whom the Celtics president considers a care package for the troops.

“I guess the greatest pressure is just I want our players to feel hope, and I want our coach to feel hope, and I sense some discouragement internally with our guys,” he said in a Friday morning Zoom media conference. “So that was one reason why we did something now as opposed to waiting down the road.

“I think that it hasn’t been as effective as I thought,” Ainge said of the team he has assembled. “There shouldn’t be a reason why we go from the fifth-best defense in the NBA to I don’t even know what our ranking is now, but it’s not good. That shouldn’t have anything to do with talent.

The Celtics were definitely in need of a jolt. While Fournier isn’t that big of a splash, he still addresses their bench scoring, which has been a major concern for the Celtics all season. The Frenchman is enjoying arguably the best season of his career and he should seamlessly slot into the role as Boston’s offensive spark off the bench.

Ainge can only hope that this acquisition turns the team around in the second half of the season.