Toting his $8.8 million contract that expires come Summer 2018, the Detroit Pistons announced today that starting shooting guard Avery Bradley is available ahead of the trade deadline. Acquired by Detroit during the summer of 2017, the Pistons started hot, quickly cooled off and currently sit in ninth place in the East.
What teams should set their sights on Bradley? The short answer is any team that can get their hands on him. While the Pistons have made clear that they expect a healthy return, a bundle of playoff bound teams could, and should consider packages for the two-way guard.
Even though his defensive drop-off this season should in theory, hurt potential trade packages, his resume is strong enough to garner attention from teams that can offer the right situation.
Detroit is no stranger to their best pieces fitting out; last season, the Pistons were better off with starting point guard Reggie Jackson tucked away in the locker room.
The reality of picking up Bradley by the February 8 trade deadline isn’t clear for everyone, but here are some completely unrealistic swaps that could impact the NBA landscape.
Even though the Rockets took the season series against the Golden State Warriors 2-1, the average margin of victory was only 4.5 points. Houston consistently makes the case of being the one team in the West that can keep up with Kevin Durant and the Splash Brothers, but adding Bradley could improve their defensive consistency.
Ryan Anderson, one of H-Town’s stretchy shooters has been thrown around in trade rumors all season long. Finding a way to turn his near $20 million salary into Bradley could shore up the Rockets come April. Bradley shoots marginally better than Anderson, and with any luck, the Rockets’ win column could entice, and afford for Bradley to return come free agency.
Having another defensive option to rotate onto any of the West’s offensive juggernauts is invaluable, especially considering the on-again, off-again defensive commitment of James Harden in the post-season. General manager Daryl Morey has his hands full, but he already managed to snag Chris Paul, how difficult could picking up Bradley be?
The Cavs need a ballhandler. The Cavs need defenders. The Cavs need an environmentally safe extinguisher for the dumpster fire burning in the Quicken Loans Arena.
With Comic Sans aficionado Dan Gilbert reportedly ready to sell the team, Bradley could become a savior in Ohio, filling in where Jae Crowder, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Isaiah Thomas and the rest of Cleveland’s roster could not.
Experienced in sharing the hardwood with Thomas and Crowder, Bradley could make Cleveland look respectable on defense while providing consistent scoring as Smith and Kyle Korver’s shooting hands have gone missing.
For Detroit, making a trade to anyone for Bradley will prove difficult. He doesn’t command the star power Detroit is looking for to rise through the East, but the team seems unwilling to settle for less. Without a clear path to tanking and few tangible options for a late season run, the Pistons might have to settle for less as opposed to letting Bradley walk for nothing in July.
Thoughts on the Bradley’s future? Send them to @bjtripleot on Twitter.