The Celtics announced Friday that they were trading SG Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for PF Marcus Morris and a 2nd round pick.
This trade was made to clear cap room for the newly acquired Gordon Hayward, who many believe could help the Celtics get past the Cavs. But, the loss of Avery Bradley diminishes those chances.
Yes, Hayward has more star power and is a better scorer, but Bradley is arguably the best on-ball defender in the NBA.
When you dive deeper into the numbers you see that Hayward is not much better than Bradley. Hayward averaged 21 points per game last season while shooting 47% as the go to guy on the Jazz. Bradley averaged 16 per game while shooting 46% as the third fiddle behind Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford. Bradley is also a better rebounder and a much better defender.
Then the issue for the Celtics becomes finding someone to fill the other guard position. Hayward could play there, but is better suited to play Forward. Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown could, but the Celtics would be giving up scoring for defense that still isn’t quite on Bradley’s level.
Make no mistake about it, the Celtics will be good again. But they are giving up more on defense than they will gain on offense, and in the end, it’ll be the same playoffs result as last year.