Celtics

Evan Fournier, Celtics reportedly far apart in contract negotiations

Fournier is reportedly looking for a four-year deal.

Evan Fournier COVID long term effects
Evan Fournier's time in Boston might be over as he and the Celtics still haven't agreed to a contract extension. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Celtics and Evan Fournier are having a tough time reaching an agreement to bring the shooting guard back to Boston.

Contract negotiations between both sides are “close to stalling,” the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy reported Saturday. Fournier is looking for a four-year, $80 million contract as he’ll become an unrestricted free agent on Monday, Murphy added.

Even though the Celtics are above the salary cap, they can re-sign Fournier to any contract because they hold his bird rights. However, they’re roughly $950k below the luxury tax line, and unless the Celtics shed off more salary, they would be paying a luxury tax bill if they re-signed Fournier.

Advertisement:

If Fournier leaves Boston in free agency, New York could be his next home. The Knicks are reportedly expected to pursue Fournier.

Fournier joined the Celtics this past season after Boston traded for him from Orlando prior to the trade deadline in March.

The Celtics used roughly $17.5 million of the $28.5 million traded player exception they received for Gordon Hayward to acquire Fournier, and they may have used what was remaining on the exception to get Fournier’s replacement. Boston finalized a trade to acquire guard Josh Richardson from the Dallas Mavericks for what was remaining on the exception and center Moses Brown on Saturday.

Advertisement:

In his first couple of games with the Celtics, Fournier struggled before finding his shooting stroke. However, Fournier tested positive for COVID-19 in April, forcing him to miss nine games.

Upon his return from COVID-19, Fournier struggled again, scoring double-digit points just once in his first four games back. Fournier shared he still had complications with the virus after returning.

Fournier eventually turned it around to close the regular season, even scoring 30 points in a loss to the Heat. In 16 regular-season games with the Celtics, Fournier scored 13 points per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 46.3 percent from 3-point range.

Advertisement:

Fournier’s shooting held up in the playoffs, scoring 15.4 points per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from deep in the Celtics’ first-round playoff loss to the Nets.

Richardson doesn’t bring the same shooting ability as Fournier, shooting 42.7 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range last season, but his defensive ability has been touted over the years. The Celtics are also reportedly in an agreement to acquire guard Kris Dunn from the Hawks while shipping out Tristan Thompson to the Kings as part of a three-team deal.

NBA free agency opens on Monday, Aug. 2, at 6 p.m. Contracts agreed to can become official on Aug. 6.

Jump To Comments

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com