Celtics trade Avery Bradley to Pistons

Marc Gasol trade celtics gordon hayward nba

The Celtics are finalizing a trade to send Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for big man Marcus Morris, according to multiple reports.

The Celtics needed to move Bradley to create cap space to sign free agent forward Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $128 million contract.

This season Bradley will be entering the final year of his current contract.

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Morris started 79 games for the Pistons a year ago and averaged 14.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest, while shooting 33 percent from 3-point territory. The same nearly certainly could not have been said for Bradley, who might (correctly) demand something close to the max, especially in a relatively weak free-agent class.

During the 2017 National Basketball Association playoffs, Bradley was the Celtics second go-to-guy on the scoring end when Isaiah Thomas was injured or resting. He'll provide an immediate upgrade at shooting guard in Detroit - even over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who remains a restricted free agent. While his on-ball defense is on par with anyone in the league and perhaps second only to Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, Bradley wasn't the Celtics' best off-ball defender last season. He averaged 14.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 79 games in 2016-17.

Trading Bradley puts pressure on Smart to become a capable enough 3-point shooter to stay on the court late in games and deep in the playoffs. 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. The Pistons relied heavily on the trio of Morris, Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer at forward last season. Also, it allows President Stan Van Gundy to experiment with younger talent, like Stanley Johnson and Luke Kennard.

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