The Celtics will get something in return for Evan Fournier after all. The Knicks officially announced their acquisition of Fournier on Tuesday as a sign-and-trade, with New York also getting two second-round picks and Boston getting cash considerations.
Most importantly for the Celtics, Fournier's move being a sign-and-trade instead of a straight free-agent signing creates a new traded player exception for the Celtics. According to the Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach, the new TPE is for $17.1 million, which would be the same value as the first year of Fournier's new contract.
The Celtics acquired Fournier at this year's trade deadline using the TPE created by Gordon Hayward's sign-and-trade last offseason. That TPE was worth a record $27.5 million total, and the Celtics ultimately used up the rest of it to acquire Josh Richardson this offseason.
Given that Fournier ultimately played just 21 games in Boston (including playoffs), getting a TPE for his departure helps ease the pain of not landing a more valuable player with Hayward's record TPE.
Now the Celtics will be able to add another player with a salary of up to $17.1 million at any point in the next year -- whether in a trade or as a free-agent signing next offseason. However, there is still the regular salary cap to contend with, so adding a player at that salary could still require the Celtics to move out money elsewhere.
It's also worth noting that this new TPE cannot be combined with any other TPEs to go get a $27 million player or anything like that. It could be split among multiple players whose salaries add up to $17.1 million, as the Celtics ultimately did with the Hayward TPE.