Magic trade Evan Fournier to Celtics for Jeff Teague and draft picks

The Orlando Magic have acquired guard Jeff Teague and two future second round draft picks in a trade with the Boston Celtics for guard Evan Fournier, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today.

The Magic say Teague will not be reporting to the team, which presumably means they plan to waive him.

As a result, Orlando has also acquired a $17 million trade exception.

“We want to thank Evan (Fournier) for all that he has done during the last seven years, both with the organization and in the community,” Weltman added. “Evan has been a true professional and we wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”

Fournier (6’7”, 205, 10/29/92) played and started in 26 games this season with Orlando, averaging 19.7 ppg., 3.7 apg., 2.9 rpg. and 1.04 stlpg. in 29.4 minpg., while shooting .388 (73-188) from three-point range. Originally selected in the first round (20th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft by Denver, he has played in 549 career NBA regular season games (407 starts) with Denver and Orlando, averaging 14.4 ppg., 2.7 rpg. and 2.7 apg. in 28.5 minpg., while shooting .376 (1,006-2,673) from three-point range and .806 (1,217-1,510) from the free throw line.

Fournier was acquired by Orlando on June 26, 2014 in a trade with Denver. He has played in 435 regular season games (399 starts) with the Magic, averaging 16.2 ppg., 3.0 apg. and 2.9 rpg. in 31.5 minpg., while shooting .376 (895-2,382) from three-point range and .812 (1,094-1,348) from the free throw line.

Three-way trade sends Chandler Hutchison to Wizards, Troy Brown Jr. to Bulls, Moe Wagner to Celtics

The Washington Wizards announced today that they have acquired center Daniel Gafford and forward/guard Chandler Hutchison from the Chicago Bulls in a three-way trade that sends forward Troy Brown Jr. to Chicago and center Moe Wagner to the Boston Celtics.

The complete trade details include Boston acquiring Luke Kornet from Chicago, with Daniel Theis and Javonte Green going from Boston to Chicago.

“This trade will help us both in the short term over the second half of the season and in the long term with two young, athletic players who we can continue to develop,” said Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “Daniel brings rim protection and the ability to finish around the basket while Chandler brings toughness on the defensive end, all attributes that complement our current roster.”

Gafford (6-11, 246) has averaged 5.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting .697 from the field in 74 career games (18 starts) in two seasons with the Bulls. He is currently averaging 4.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting .690 from the field in 31 games (11 starts) this season. Gafford scored a season-high 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field against the Wizards on December 31.

Originally selected 38th overall by the Bulls in the 2019 NBA Draft, Gafford averaged 14.3 points and 7.4 rebounds during his two seasons at the University of Arkansas. He was named to the 2019 SEC All-Defensive Team and First Team All-SEC following his sophomore season at Arkansas.

Hutchison (6-7, 208) holds career averages of 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 79 career games (24 starts) in three seasons with the Bulls. He has appeared in seven games this season. Hutchison averaged 7.8 points in 28 games for Chicago last season.

Originally selected in the first round (22nd overall) by the Bulls in the 2018 NBA Draft, Hutchison averaged 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.48 steals in 31 games as a senior at Boise State to earn Mountain West Player of the Year, All-Mountain West First Team and Mountain West All-Defensive Team honors. He was also named All-Mountain West First Team as a junior and finished his career ranked first in school history in double-doubles and 20/10 games.

“We thank Troy and Moe for their contributions on the court and their commitment to improving our community,” said Sheppard. “We appreciate their efforts and wish them the best as they continue their careers.”

Brown Jr. was originally selected by Washington with the 15th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. In three seasons with the Wizards, he averaged 7.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 142 games (32 starts). Wagner was acquired from the Lakers in a three-team trade involving the Pelicans on July 6, 2019. He appeared in 70 games (18 starts) with the Wizards over two seasons, posting averages of 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens says no, he is not seeking the Indiana University coaching job

There was no harm in asking Celtics coach Brad Stevens a question that appears to have a simple answer. Via Boston.com:

On Tuesday, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens was asked by Marc Bertrand on 98.5’s Zolak and Bertrand if he was leaving the Celtics for the recently vacated Indiana University Bloomington coaching job.

“I am not,” Stevens said…

Stevens said he knows Archie Miller, who was recently fired by the Hoosiers. Miller’s firing prompted a column by the Indy Star’s Greg Doyel imploring Indiana to hire Stevens.

That settles that. For now.

Celtics reportedly might have interest in trading for Larry Nance Jr.

With the NBA trade deadline coming later this month, rumors will start to increase on players who could be on the move. Via Boston.com:

The Celtics are reportedly exploring the trade market, and you can add another name to their target list.

Boston is one of the several teams that are interested in Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr., Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor reported. The 76ers, Pelicans, Heat, Mavericks, and Timberwolves are the other teams that have shown interest in Nance.

Enjoy tonight’s All-Star game. We’ll get more into trade rumblings in the coming days.

LeBron James calls Jaylen Brown ‘underappreciated’

It’s always cool when LeBron James tells the world that you’re a good basketball player. Via the Boston.com:

After Thursday’s victory over the Toronto Raptors, Celtics wing Jaylen Brown was informed that LeBron James selected him to his All-Star team, calling him “Jaylen Under-Appreciated Brown” on the TNT broadcast.

Brown raised his eyebrows at the recitation of James’s compliment and chuckled.

“That’s great,” Brown said. “To have one of — if not the — best player select you and point out some of the things you’ve been doing or some of the things he’s seen, is great. I appreciate him for that.”

Brown’s season deserves appreciation. The fifth-year wing — and first-time All-Star — is averaging 24.8 points per game on a tidy 49.8 percent shooting, including 38.9 percent from 3-point range. Brown started the season hot and has been one of the league’s best mid-range shooters while aggressively going to the basket. On Thursday, he worked his way to the free-throw line 16 times, making 11.

The Celtics haven’t stood out in the first half of this season. They are a modest 19-17 entering the All-Star break, which is the Eastern conference’s fourth best record. Not bad, but not as good as expected. A pair of key Celtics guards have played limited games so far: Kemba Walker 19, Marcus Smart 17. While Walker is active, Smart could return fairly soon after the break.

Jayson Tatum will start in place of Kevin Durant in 2021 NBA All-Star Game

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum will replace injured Nets forward Kevin Durant as a starter in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.

Tatum had previously been named an All-Star reserve.

Also today, it was announced that Durant’s injury replacement on the All-Star team is Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis.

The Nets today announced that Durant will remain out through the All-Star break.

Kemba Walker making progress in knee rehab

Celtics point guard Kemba Walker hasn’t played yet this season due to a knee issue, but it sounds like he’s making progress on a return. Via Boston.com:

“Honestly, I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Walker told reporters via Zoom on Thursday. “I know I did say I was feeling really good the last time before the bubble, which I was, but the timing in between just wasn’t really beneficial to me. But now, I am feeling really good, and the way I’m feeling right now is different from the way I felt before I went into the bubble. I’ve just been able to take my time, really just attack my rehab from Day 1.”

Walker originally eyed Friday’s game against the Orlando Magic as a potential return to action, but after a week without practice, the team ruled him out on Thursday. Still, Walker seems to be getting better, and he worked out with the team on Thursday according to Brad Stevens.

“He’s been able to continue to do his rehab in 1-on-1 settings,” Stevens said. “And his strengthening, his strengthening has gone fantastic. He’s put in a ton of work. He went full go today for an hour with us. We did not go live, but we did a lot of up and down, just trying to get our legs back in some ways with guys that haven’t done anything for a week, and he looked good. What that means, as far as next steps and playing and when he’ll play and all that stuff, that’s a decision for Kemba and our training staff.”

Magic vs. Celtics game scheduled for January 13, 2021 has been postponed

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for tomorrow between the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics at TD Garden has been postponed in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.

Because of testing and contact tracing within the Celtics, the team does not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with tomorrow’s game against Orlando.

NBA postpones two games for coronavirus reasons: Pelicans vs. Mavs, Celtics vs. Bulls

The NBA games scheduled for tonight between the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Arena and tomorrow between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls at United Center have been postponed in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.

The NBA and NBPA will be meeting today about modifying the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.

The January 10, 2021 Heat vs. Celtics NBA game in Boston postponed for coronavirus safety reasons

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for tonight between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics at TD Garden has been postponed in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.

Because of ongoing contact tracing with the Heat, the team does not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with tonight’s game against the Celtics.