SALT LAKE CITY -- Longtime Celtic Avery Bradley is a Celtic no longer.
As first reported by ESPN, Bradley was dealt by Boston on Friday afternoon to the Detroit Pistons for power forward Marcus Morris. The C's, as first reported by CSNNE.com, also sent a second-round draft pick to Detroit.
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Bradley, drafted by the Celtics with the 19th overall pick in the 2010 draft, has established himself as one of the NBA’s top two-way players and was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team following the 2015-2016 season.
And this past season, he was the top vote-getter among players not named to the league’s All-Defensive first or second team.
When the Celtics came to terms on a four-year, $127.8 million contract with Gordon Hayward, they had to clearl enough salary-cap space in order to seal the deal. That meant Boston was going to have to part ways with a key player.
The most talked-about names being on the move were Bradley, Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart.
Bradley will make $8.8 million this season and will become a free agent in the summer of 2018. The Celtics were likely going to have to choose between re-signing Bradley or Isaiah Thomas, who also hits the free agent market in 2018.
Morris has this year and one more season left on his contract, but he’s only making $5 million for this season and $5.375 million for the 2018-2019 season.
So in adding Morris, the Celtics gave themselves more financial flexibility in addition to adding a player who addresses a need -- size.
At 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds, Morris can play both power forward and center for the Celtics. And because of his perimeter skills (he shot 33.1 percent from 3-point range last season and is a 35.5 percent career shooter on 3’s), adding him can help fill the void left by Kelly Olynyk, who signed a four-year deal with the Miami Heat worth at least $50 million.