The Bradley deal creates the salary-cap space needed to sign free-agent forward Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $128 million maximum contract. It's going to hurt the Celtics to lose one of their homegrown talents, but Bradley likely would have been priced out of the team's plans by next season.
Morris started 79 games for the Pistons previous year and averaged 14.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest, while shooting 33 percent from 3-point territory.
There's absolutely no denying the Celtics will miss Avery Bradley next season, and anyone claiming otherwise is way off the mark.More news: US Senator McCain Says No Peace In Afghanistan Without Pakistan Involvement
Pope was a restricted free agent garnering max contract consideration across the league after showing promise as a young, serviceable two-way wing in his fourth season. If he doesn't take a lot of preparation to get up to the National Basketball Association speed, then this could be a really good Celtics team. (Detroit may find it easier to move other players for tax relief with a year less on their deals, it should be noted.) At worst, the Pistons gave up two years of Morris at a good price for one with Bradley. Plus, it would have been a nightmare trying to organize the rest of the team while also giving Bradley a max contract next summer, so this way he keeps the value of Jae Crowder's low salary and still has elite defense with Marcus Smart.
Morris, 26, played two seasons for the Pistons. Landing Hayward was a big step, and the Celtics took Duke's Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick in the draft after trading down from No. 1.
In order for that deal to make sense, Bradley would have to be a substantial upgrade on Caldwell-Pope. And, as noted, advanced metrics haven't supported the notion that Bradley is an elite defender.
- The Celtics, who already had an unbalanced roster, still have unanswered questions.