Wow! I really wasn’t expecting this one, but when you gotta make moves you gotta make moves. Frantic to shed some salary in order to slide under the cap to sign newest and shiniest acquisition Gordon Hayward the Celtics dealt starting shooting guard Avery Bradley to Detroit in exchange for small forward Marcus Morris.
By face value it is a pretty peculiar trade despite the machinations behind it. There were probably better ways for Boston to clear cap space same for Detroit who probably didn’t have to get off of a starting to fill a need. However, we’re hear now and in the grand tradition of Basketball and BS your dude is about to break this one down.
Loser: Avery Bradley
We all love Avery Bradley around here but he’s gonna catch an L on this one by virtue of him going to a pretty bad basketball situation. Notice I didn’t say worse I said bad. After sneaking into the playoffs in the 2015-2016 season the Detroit Pistons suffered from poor chemistry and a failure to find a true identity as they stumbled their way backwards to a disappointing 37 wins this past season. Bradley is now the starting shooting guard here and while he serves a an improvement the aforementioned issues they suffered last year are things he can’t fix solely.
He’s not destined to wither away in the Motor City as Stan Van has garnered a well deserved reputation for getting a lot out of his guards so Bradley arriving as pretty close to the complete package should prove to be a positive for their working relationship. It will also be interesting to see how he adjusts to taking on a larger role especially as he projects to be their best three point shooter (at least until we see how Luke Kennard’s stroke translates to the pro game) and will be a welcomed addition to an already stout defense (the Pistons were 7th in defensive rating last year). This isn’t a situation that you can rule a disaster from the jump but it’s going to take a lot of work by all parties if this is going to work out.
Winner: Marcus Morris
This is pretty much the exact opposite of what Bradley has to contend with. Often viewed as the bad Morris Marcus has taken his time to rehabilitate his image and grow as a player under Stan Van’s watch. Now he gets to be a part of a unit that is primed to compete for championships in the coming years. Also a relief for Marcus is that he’ll be an important part of this rotation right away. Although he is listed as a small forward his 6’9″ frame will definitely allow Boston to give him major minutes at the 4. A decent shooter from range Boston’s ball movement should allow him many open looks that makes them even more deadly if he can hit them.
Winner: Boston Celtics
Boston remains on a roll here by accomplishing two very important things here, shedding some salary and getting a useful player back in return that addresses an area of concern. I’m sure it was hard to hand Bradley over as it appeared he was the one least likely to be dealt but with the departures of Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson a sudden need arose at the 4 and they were able to nab Morris as someone who rectifies this immediately.
By making this move the Cs sliced $3 million off of their books providing room to sign Hayward while doing something to unclog the glut of wings they have. Personally I would have preferred them get this done by dealing Marcus Smart but that’s just me. Either way the Celtics made the move necessary to achieve their objective so any haggling over who coulda shoulda been dealt is beyond moot. Danny does it again.
Winner: Detroit Pistons
Stan Van’s wheelin and dealin again and I LOVE IT! Relatively quiet this summer up to this point it can be argued that the Pistons kinda sorta pulled a fast one here. However, in actuality this deal is more likely mutually beneficial but that is just fine for Detroit. Adding Bradley is a great acquisition that brings consistency and toughness to a back court that sorely needs it.
But what is more important here is what this deal allows the Pistons to free themselves of. Moments after the announcement of the swap Detroit renounced the rights to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope effectively making him an unrestricted free agent. There was no conceivable way for them to pay KCP’s asking price (the Pistons are currently hard capped) so they smartly waited on a deal to address the position. Great pickup for them although the loss of Morris will be felt at least initially.