The Celtics backed themselves into a bit of a jam when they decided to sign Gordon Hayward without obtaining the necessary cap room, and the moves they’ve been forced to make have given other teams a chance to benefit from Boston’s trouble. That’s how the Detroit Pistons reportedly traded Marcus Morris for Avery Bradley and a second-round pick.
Bradley will replace Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was a restricted free agent the team won’t be able to afford with Bradley’s contract on the books. The three-and-D shooting guard had shown tantalizing flashes of potential in the last two years, but Bradley is an upgrade. As the Pistons look to shake off last season’s disaster, Bradley is a better all-around player (with postseason experience) who could provide more consistent play.
In Morris, the Celtics get a solid role player who unfortunately thinks he can be a star. He’ll likely play in the four, but he struggles with rebounding and low-post play. His most comfortable area is in the mid-range or deeper, but despite taking 4.5 threes per game last season, he only made 33.1 percent. Morris’s greatest talents aren’t especially useful in the modern NBA, and Detroit probably won’t miss him.
The Pistons have spent recent years trying to do the best they can with limited resources each offseason. Every player on their team, from point guard Reggie Jackson to center Andre Drummond, is flawed in some way, and yet the team couldn’t have realistically brought in anyone better than this current lineup. With GM Danny Ainge’s cap-room predicament, Detroit was finally in a fortunate position to get something. Even though Bradley has one year left on his current contract, maybe the Pistons can figure out a way to make him stay for a while.