The Boston Celtics have an agreement to send Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the deal might have implications for Evan Fournier and Tristan Thompson.
Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported the Celtics feel better about their chances of re-signing Fournier, an unrestricted free agent, after moving Walker’s salary. Himmelsbach also noted the arrival of Al Horford does not necessarily mean Boston will move on from Tristan Thompson.
Some things I'm hearing in the aftermath of the Kemba deal:
-Cs feel better about their chances of re-signing Fournier now
-This doesn't necessarily mean Tristan Thompson's time in Boston is over
-Moses Brown was mostly added as a salary match but will get a look
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 18, 2021
The Fournier note could be especially important for the Celtics.
Boston traded for the former Orlando Magic shooting guard ahead of the trade deadline, and Fournier promptly gave the Celtics a boost with his perimeter shooting and ability to be a secondary ball-handler. He averaged 13.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 16 games at the end of the regular season, shooting a whopping 46.3 percent from beyond the arc on nearly six attempts per game. Fournier also averaged 15.4 points per contest during Boston’s first-round playoff loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
It’s unknown exactly what his market will look like in free agency, but the Celtics figure to do what they can to bring him back. There might not be as much of a concerted interest in re-signing Thompson, but it’s something Boston appears to be considering.
The Celtics now have a crowded frontcourt with the arrival of both Horford and Moses Brown. However, Thompson can provide a boost with his rebounding and rim-running abilities.
This could be a pivotal offseason for the Celtics as they continue to build around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Both Fournier and Thompson might be part of the process in Brad Stevens’ first season as president of basketball operations.