BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The NBA’s free agency window opened Monday night and the Celtics lost shooting guard Evan Fournier.
Fournier, who’s currently playing for France at the summer Olympics in Tokyo, agreed to a $78 million, four-year deal with the New York Knicks only a few hours before helping France beat Italy in the quarterfinals.
Fournier gave his agent strict instructions to not call in the middle of the night with incremental developments.
“I’m not a very nervous or stressful person, so it wasn’t that big of a deal, but I did think about it when I first woke up,” Fournier said.
He had a quick conversation with Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, let him know the decision and then got back to Olympic prepping.
“I’m glad it’s over, for sure,” Fournier said.
The Celtics traded two second-round picks to Orlando for Fournier at the trade deadline. He averaged just over 17 points a game for the Magic and Celtics last season.
The guard said that he would have liked to re-signed with the Celtics, but the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on a new deal.
“That was my priority going into the summer,” Fournier told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn about a return to Boston. “Because I knew the place. I talked to Brad [Stevens] and we couldn’t get a deal done, obviously. But I had my options. It wasn’t necessarily Boston only, but I was more inclined to sign there because they traded for me and I felt good while I was there.”
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)