(Via ESPN) Adrian Wojanowski- The Boston Celtics are trading guard Avery Bradley and a second-round pick to the Detroit Pistons for forward Marcus Morris, league sources told ESPN.
The Bradley deal creates the salary-cap space needed to sign free-agent forward Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $128 million maximum contract.
As a completely biased Boston Celtics fan, this trade hurt my feelings. I’m just a bit puzzled here.
The C’s just signed Gordon Hayward. This gave Boston their best chance at defeating Lebron in the playoffs since the KG, Paul Pierce days. So now, let’s go out and trade, not only our best defensive guard, but one of the league’s defenders, for Marcus Morris?
After going all-in on Hayward (and evidently a trade for Paul George) I thought it was pretty obvious that Danny Ainge was building a team that would have the best possible chance at taking down the Cavs. Instead, the C’s trade one of the only guys in the league who has a chance at slowing down Kyrie Irving.
I understand that maxing out Isaiah Thomas would’ve made it impossible for the Celtics to extend Bradley, but why not run it back one more season with this team and see what they could do. I get that Avery Bradley is, at his peak, an 18 point-per-game scorer on offense. I also know that Bradley has had trouble staying on the court for a full season since he’s been in the league.
Ainge obviously didn’t want to lose Bradley for nothing, and you can’t blame him for that. But the C’s just didn’t get enough in return here.
All these things aside, his defensive impact alone is something that every team is looking for. I also talked about the importance of Avery Bradley to Isaiah Thomas in a post I made a few months ago.
The guard position is as deep as it’s ever been, so elite wing defenders are selling at a premium. But Marcus Morris is the guy Boston got in return, really? Not to mention that the Celtics coughed up a second round draft pick as well.
I fundamentally disagree with trading Avery Bradley in the first place, but it adds insult to injury when all you were able to get in return was an average starting forward. It feels like Detroit got Bradley for 50 cents on the dollar.
Morris is a respectable NBA starter, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t see how this was the guy that we gave up Bradley for. Morris just seems redundant on this roster that now has 5 small forwards in their rotation. If Ainge went out and got a rim-protecting big man who could clean the glass, then I’d have a differing opinion.
Another way to look at this is through the lens of Golden State, Cleveland or any other contending teams. If I’m the Warriors or Cavs, I’m relieved that Avery Bradley isn’t going to be matching up with my best guard.
I’m normally not someone who overreacts to trades within hours of when they were made, but this move sucks. If I’m this hurt, I could only imagine how the lockeroom feels.
P.S., I’m fully prepared for the “Marcus Morris game” in late may that will bite me in the ass.