- The Celtics sent Avery Bradley to the Pistons in order to clear cap room for Gordon Hayward, but they also managed to snag a useful player in the deal.
The Boston Celtics are trading Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons for Marcus Morris, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania. For Boston, the trade is a corresponding move to the Gordon Hayward signing, as the Celtics need to clear a little more cap space to sign Hayward to a full max contract. The Pistons have been in the market for shooters, though their guard rotation could be a little crowded after the deal.
Let’s grade the trade for both teams.
Boston Celtics: C+
Beggars can’t be choosers, and while teams around the league surely want some of Boston’s spare parts, no one is going to part with prime assets when they know the Celtics have no choice but to shed salary. Morris is a fine player, albeit one not as talented as his twin brother Markieff. Marcus is best suited at power forward, and he’s also capable of sliding to center and guarding multiple positions. His shooting isn’t consistent enough to make him an ideal stretch option in the frontcourt, but his career average from downtown is a respectable 35.5%. Morris should end up starting for Boston next to Al Horford, though the calculus could change if the team elects to keep Jae Crowder.
Ultimately, for a team that needed to shed salary, picking up a useful player and losing a soon-to-be-expensive one is not a terrible move. Most importantly, this trade should allow Boston to sign Hayward without having to trade Crowder or Marcus Smart. It’s going to hurt the Celtics to lose one of their homegrown talents, but Bradley likely would have been priced out of the team’s plans by next season.
Detroit Pistons: B+
Bradley is a great pickup for Detroit. He is an absolute bulldog on both ends of the court. He is a First Team All-Defensive-caliber defender who shot 39% from three last season, and he will be paid only $8.8 million this season. Detroit’s backcourt is getting crowded, however. How will the highly-paid Reggie Jackson, newly-signed Langston Galloway, draftee Luke Kennard, Bradley and Ish Smith all fit together? Bradley is easily the best of the bunch, and it’s likely the Pistons now let restricted-free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope sign somewhere else. (KCP is definitely gone if he signs a max offer sheet.)
Bradley will be a free agent next summer, but the Pistons acquired his Bird rights in the deal, which could give them a leg up in signing a player whose prime is still ahead of him. Detroit still needs to sort out its backcourt, but Bradley is a keeper, and if the Pistons can convince him to stick around, he’s a player who can be a building block for the future.