Danny Ainge completely revamped a 53-win team this summer. It is a big gamble. One of those moves was trading starter and defensive stopper Avery Bradley to Detroit for Marcus Morris. For the Celtics it was a move to clear cap space, making way for the signing of Gordon Hayward.
For Bradley, this is a fresh start.
During a break at his youth camp in Vancouver (you remember, the city that used to have an NBA team, the one where the nickname Grizzlies made sense) Bradley told Bleacher Report that this trade was not a surprise to him.
“Not from me because you know, I’m eight years in the NBA and it’s the business, man. Anything is possible, anything can happen at any time. … I wasn’t shocked that it happened, you know what I mean? I knew it was a possibility; it was something that we spoke about. Obviously, you can’t read the future and know what team, but I knew I was going somewhere.”
That team is Detroit, where he is an upgrade on the wing over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (because Bradley is a much bigger threat to hit a three and is just a better offensive player). Bradley sees this as an opportunity to impress and maybe stay in Detroit.
“I feel like anything is possible. Where we’re able to buy into what Stan is trying to do, we have a lot of talent. If we’re able to put that all together and everybody buys in, we can have a special year. Especially with a coach like Stan Van Gundy; he’s special and he really knows his stuff.
I want to help bring more leadership to help this team and just bring that hard-working mentality to the team, and I feel like if I’m able to accomplish that, I feel like anything is possible for our team this year.”
It’s going to be an interesting market for Bradley next summer. A few summers ago quality “3&D” wings were getting paid big bucks, but the market will not be flush with cash next year, and a number of other guys of that ilk — Danny Green, Gary Harris, even Caldwell-Pope — will be free agents. That said, with a good season Bradley will be at the top of the list, and Van Gundy has said the Pistons will pay to keep him.
The Pistons have the potential to be a solid playoff team in the East if guys take a step forward. Bradley and his leadership could help with that — and that will earn him some money next summer, too.