Avery Bradley Traded to Detroit Pistons for Marcus Morris

Alec NathanFeatured Columnist

Boston Celtics' Avery Bradley, right, shoots in front of Atlanta Hawks' Kent Bazemore in the first quarter in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday, April 16, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
David Goldman/Associated Press

The Detroit Pistons announced they have traded Marcus Morris to the Boston Celtics for Avery Bradley and a second-round pick on Friday.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Vertical initially reported the players involved in the trade earlier in the day. 

Bradley is coming off the best year of his career, and the Celtics made a move Friday to maximize their return on his rising stock.

After bursting onto the scene and nabbing a second-team All-Defensive nod following the 2012-13 season, Bradley vaulted into a new strata throughout the 2015-16 campaign and secured a first-team All-Defensive honor.

While Bradley didn't make an All-Defensive team for the 2016-17 season, his offense took another step forward, as he averaged career highs with 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

Despite his strong performance, ESPN's Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported recently that Bradley, Jae Crowder or Marcus Smart were in the running to get traded.

Boston needed to create salary-cap space after agreeing to a four-year, $128 million contract with Gordon Hayward.

In swapping Bradley for Morris, the Celtics will save nearly $3.5 million next season, which should allow them to fit Hayward underneath the salary cap.

Morris also adds much-needed depth to the Boston frontcourt. He is coming off a season that saw him average 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.

Although Bradley's four-year, $32 million deal was viewed as a bit generous when he signed it in July 2014, he's outplayed that contract by miles—especially in the context of the recent salary-cap spike. At present, Bradley has one year remaining on his contract. He's owed $8.8 million for the 2017-18 season.

The Pistons are able to add years to Bradley's contract now if they wish, although Bobby Marks of ESPN noted they can only add two years and $19 million in the next six months. 

While Bradley may never be a go-to scorer or a tactical focal point, he's a defensive ace who can provide supplementary scoring as a spot-up weapon from beyond the arc.  

For a Pistons team that missed the playoffs last season, he should provide a spark alongside core players Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond.  

     

Contract information courtesy of Spotrac.