The chances of Evan Fournier returning to the Celtics don't look great -- and the chances of the veteran wing landing with a Boston rival may be increasing.
Fournier and the New York Knicks have "mutual interest" as the 28-year-old gets set to hit unrestricted free agency Friday, SNY's Ian Begley reported recently. Fournier had "significant support" in the Knicks organization prior to last week's 2021 NBA Draft, per Begley, and it appears that's still the case.
The Celtics acquired Fournier ahead of the 2021 NBA trade deadline in March and have been in discussions to re-sign the France native in free agency. But the Boston Herald's Mark Murphy reported over the weekend that those discussions are "close to stalling," with Boston unwilling to meet Fournier's demand for a four-year, $80 million contract.
Fournier averaged 17.1 points per game last season and has been a star for Team France at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, dropping 28 points in France's win over Team USA last week. The Celtics need a legitimate third star to complement Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and Fournier potentially could fill that role if he returns to Boston.
That's a big "if," though, and the Celtics' trade with the Dallas Mavericks for Josh Richardson -- who's set to make $11.6 million this season -- could signal they're making contingency plans in case Fournier doesn't return.
Fournier would be a strong fit for the Knicks, who could use more shooting and wing depth. The NBA's legal tampering period for free agency begins Monday at 6 p.m. ET, so don't be surprised if New York gives Fournier a call in the near future.