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Celtics create $17M trade exception by sending Evan Fournier, picks to Knicks in sign-and-trade

New Knicks wing Evan Fournier in Boston Celtics v Charlotte Hornets

CHARLOTTE, NC - APRIL 25: Evan Fournier #94 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on April 25, 2021 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

With Gordon Hayward already headed to the Hornets last offseason, the Celtics sent Charlotte two second-round picks to turn the deal into a sign-and-trade and create a large trade exception. Boston then used the trade exception to acquire Evan Fournier (and Josh Richardson).

Now, with Fournier already headed to the Knicks, the Celtics will send New York another second-rounder to create another trade exception.

Knicks release:

New York Knicks announced today that the team has acquired guard/forward Evan Fournier in a sign-and-trade with Boston, along with two future second round draft picks in exchange for cash considerations.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

Fred Katz of The Athletic:

The trade exception will be worth Fournier’s salary this season (which is apparently $17.1 million) and expire in one year.

Even large trade exceptions often go unused because the team must actually pay the player acquired with one. Especially after signing Dennis Schroder for the mid-level exception, Boston might not want to further increase its luxury-tax bill this season.

The Celtics are more likely to use the exception next summer. After extending Marcus Smart’s contract, they project to be over the cap next offseason.

But Boston just proved their willingness to spend by using the Hayward trade exception on Fournier before the last trade deadline. Either approaching the next trade deadline or next offseason, the Celtics now have a potentially useful tool for roster-building.

For New York, which could have signed Fournier outright with cap space, this is an easy way to snag an extra second-round pick (or two, if you count the extremely unlikely to convey Hornets pick). The $110,00 is the minimum amount the Knicks had to convey to make the trade legal (considering they weren’t sending out a pick or player).