Boston Celtics trading starter Avery Bradley to Pistons for Marcus Morris

Boston Celtics trading starter Avery Bradley to Pistons for Marcus Morris”

He has averaged 11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 314 career contests since being selected by the Pistons with the eighth overall pick of the 2013 draft. The team will have to spend big money if they want to hold onto Isaiah Thomas, who is also up for a new contract next summer, and keeping their backcourt together beyond the 2017-2018 season probably wasn't realistic.

Bradley had one year left on his contract worth $8,808,989 and is set to receive a big raise after next season that could come to $20-25 million per season.

The Pistons agreed on Friday to trade Morris to the Boston Celtics for Bradley, who is coming off the best season of his seven-year career.

Bradley, 26, has been selected to the NBA's all-defensive team twice - second team in 2012-13 and first team in 2015-16 - and averaged career highs of 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season with the Celtics, where he's played all seven of his seasons in the National Basketball Association. Bradley is in the final year of his contract.

The return isn't all that exciting, but the larger implications for the Celtics still are.

Still, there's a reason Bradley is so coveted.

It seems important that Ainge mentioned Marcus Smart in that answer, as his name was raised as a potential trade piece to clear salary cap space. Marcus is best suited at power forward, and he's also capable of sliding to center and guarding multiple positions. Morris should end up starting for Boston next to Al Horford, though the calculus could change if the team elects to keep Jae Crowder. The Celtics finally found a home for one of those players as they have traded Bradley to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Marcus Morris. Given that limitation, the Celtics did well. Despite being one of the Eastern Conference's sole bodies capable of slowing the likes of Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving or the Washington Wizards' explosive John Wall, Bradley's presence alone was not enough to push the Celtics over the Cavaliers at the top of the East. That's exactly the scenario the Pistons now face. Without getting off other salary, the largest offer sheet the Pistons could now match to Caldwell-Pope as a restricted free agent would start around $15.7 million.

Crowder could eventually be moved, though he's the most valuable trade asset on Boston's roster. He joined the Heat as a free agent on July 14, 2014. He'll nearly certainly take whatever he can get as a restricted free agent.

In a vacuum, adding Morris to the mix in the Bradley deal makes Crowder expendable. I'm not convinced that's the case. He shot 39 percent from 3-point range.

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