The Boston Celtics needed to shed some salary in order to sign Gordon Hayward to the four-year, $128 million contract that he agreed to Tuesday.
The rumor for a while was that the Celtics and Jazz would conduct a sign-and-trade for Hayward and Jae Crowder to give some salary back to the Jazz, but those talks fell through and the Celtics switched gear and traded starting shooting guard Avery Bradley to the Pistons for Marcus Morris Friday morning.
Celtics trading Avery Bradley and a second-round pick to Detroit for Marcus Morris, source told ESPN.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 7, 2017
This trade seemingly allows the Pistons to allow Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to leave in restricted free agency and prevents them from having to go into the luxury tax in 2017-18 by paying Caldwell-Pope the $16 to $20 million he could be paid by signing an offer sheet.
Bradley had a breakout year last season, averaging 16.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while being an elite defensive player to mask Isaiah Thomas’s deficiencies on that end.
This trade allows Boston to complete the Hayward signing and prevents them from the quandary of having to re-sign Bradley to a large contract in a year when they will also have to pay big money for Thomas.
This gives the Celtics yet another combo forward, but could hurt them defensively.