As a fan of the 15-33, 13th in the Eastern Conference Boston Celtics, I understand that few players on the current roster are “safe.” In an effort to free up some cap space and acquire draft picks, President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has already proven that he will pull the trigger on any trade that he feels is in his club’s best interest, so NBA trade rumors will be a fact of life for our immediate future.
Courteny Lee, Jordan Crawford, and MarShon Brooks have already learned first-hand just how quickly Ainge will ship players out of Boston, and rumor has it that Jeff Green (and possibly Gerald Wallace, if Ainge can find any takers) will be the next to go.
But is Ainge really willing to ship Avery Bradley, one of the best on-the-ball defenders in the NBA, out of town?
According to Chris Broussard over at ESPN.com, yes. Yes he is.
If this rumor has any truth to it at all, I must say I have a hard time agreeing with the logic. Trading Gerald Wallace? Makes perfect sense, since he is, ah, pretty bad, and has one of the worst contracts in the history of the NBA. Trading Jeff Green? Yeah, I’m okay with this move, as well, since Green is way too inconsistent to be considered the first (or even second) option on offense, and he can fetch the Cs some value.
But Avery Bradley, the Human Double-Team? Man, I don’t know about this.
For starters, Bradley is only 23 – not exactly a “veteran,” is he? His game is still developing, as this year’s jump in his scoring average can attest. Second, his contract isn’t a pile of garbage like Wallace’s is; for a little over $2.5 million, the Cs are getting a starting shooting guard good for 14 points per game and crazy-good defense, to the tune of a defensive win share rating of 1.2 games this season. I’d say Bradley is worth the investment, especially playing for coach Brad Stevens, who is going to preach defense during his tenure in Boston.
I would love to dismiss this NBA trade rumor as nonsense, given what Bradley contributes to this team, and the role he can play going forward. The problem is, anything seems possible with Trader Danny at the helm. I would be surprised and very disappointed to see Avery Bradley get shipped out of town, so for now I’ll give this rumor very little credence, but will monitor it closely regardless!