The Boston Celtics just made a huge mistake trading away all-NBA defender Avery Bradley.
The former Texas Longhorns guard Avery Bradley was traded from Boston to Detroit during the NBA Free Agency period.
This trade followed Bradley having a career year in Boston.
Consider these career highs for the former Longhorn in the 2016-2017 NBA season:
- 16.3 PPG
- 2.2 Assists Per Game
- 6.1 Rebounds Per Game
- 33.4 Minutes Per Game
Bradley also improved his overall shooting and three-point percentage from last season. Really, the only category that declined from last year was his free throw percentage.
The bottom line? Bradley is entering the prime of his NBA career.
Instead of continuing to build toward the NBA Finals with Bradley as a centerpiece, the Celtics traded him.
Boston not only traded him but traded him to another Eastern Conference team. Now, the young Pistons are even more dangerous.
Avery Bradley Just Made Detroit a Playoffs Team
Avery Bradley entered the league as a defender who couldn’t score. It wasn’t until his fourth NBA season when he averaged double figures.
Now, Bradley is a dual threat elite defender and very good scorer. His offense isn’t to the level of another defender-turned scorer, Kawhi Leonard. But, Bradley is close.
Heck, Bradley was even called on to make the winning shot in the only game the Celtics won in the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals against Cleveland.
But, in their pursuit of free agent Gordon Hayward, the Celtics dealt Bradley within their conference.
Was getting Hayward worth it to trade the longest-tenured Celtic and a player they drafted in 2010, watched develop and grow, and eventually turn into an NBA star?
Perhaps the move does not backfire against the Celtics because the East is so weak compared to the West.
Perhaps the Celtics will find a way to make it out of the Eastern Conference Finals after it seems the window closed on the Cavs.
But, the Celtics seem to have too many options now. They have Draft picks, a deep roster, free agents to pursue, and assets to use, store, or move.
Unfortunately, one of those options was trading Avery.
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The Celtics decided it was worth it, so Boston better hope that it doesn’t come back to bite them when no one can defend the top stars on whichever team emerges from the West in the 2018 NBA Playoffs. That would have been Bradley.
Now, Bradley is joining the Pistons. This should put Detroit over the top to finally return to the NBA Playoffs.
Could we see an intriguing early round matchup between Bradley’s first and second teams next season? Time will tell. But, from this perspective, the Boston Celtics made a poor decision trading Avery Bradley.