Detroit Pistons off-season gamble comes with instant payoff: flexibility

Marcus Morris

Celtics trading Avery Bradley and a second-round pick to Detroit for Marcus Morris, source told ESPN.

The deal brings one of the best two-way players in the National Basketball Association to Detroit, who also receive a 2019 second-round draft pick in the deal.

Detroit will pay $3.4 million more in guaranteed contracts for the 2017-18 season after exchanging Morris's for Bradley's. Detroit has renounced the rights to Caldwell-Pope. Bradley is a better 3-point shooter than Caldwell-Pope (39-35 percent last year) and a significantly better shooter overall, in his career and last season (46.3-39.9). He has never attempted a three-pointer, which would be unusual compared to other Celtics big men, but his rebounding ability outweighs his lack of outside shooting. The Pistons can match an offer made to their former 2013 first-round selection, but not much as surfaced since the free agency period began last week.

Caldwell-Pope was a restricted free agent who might command a max deal of around $24 million a season.

Gordon Hayward, who was a 22 points a night guy last season, will have to continue his upward trend and score more than he ever has in his career.

Avery Bradley's departure may be bittersweet for Celtics fans.

Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward

Landing Gordon Hayward was always going to come with a sacrifice for the Boston Celtics and that effect manifested in trading away Avery Bradley. That meant moving on from Bradley, Jae Crowder or Marcus Smart in a trade.

Remarkably, every year Bradley played for the Celtics was better than the previous one. "We're trying to get a team that not only is a group of good players, but also a team that does fit".

Bringing the 6-foot-9, 235-pound Morris twin into the fold gives Boston coach Brad Stevens even more flexibility and versatility and also brings some beef and attitude to the team trying to break through and reach the NBA Finals.

With Bradley, the Celtics had the ideal two guard for this team.

In the worst-case scenario, the Celtics would have lost two of their core players (one by trade, Bradley by free agency). Crowder and Horford are also versatile defenders, meaning the trio should be able to continuously switch like a well-oiled machine. They obviously have Hayward at small forward and have a host of wings who can operate at the 3 or 4 in Crowder, Morris, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

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