Avery Bradley

Central Notes: Monroe, Terry, LaVine, Bradley, Mirotic

Greg Monroe‘s name has been prevalent in trade rumors the last 12 months and not much has changed. The former seventh overall pick from the 2010 NBA Draft is still a productive asset but his lack of rim protection partnered with his sizeable salary ($17.8MM next season) make him an expendable player for the Bucks.

Before the Bucks faced the Jazz for Summer League action in Las Vegas Friday, Monroe told reporters, including Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box, that he’s thrilled to be in Milwaukee and doesn’t want to go elsewhere.

“I’m happy,” Monroe, 27, said.“I had no reason to leave. I want to build on what we started last year. I’d like to stay but that’s up to them.”

Coming off the bench last season, Monroe averaged 11.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and shot 53% from the floor in 22.5 minutes per game. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s new extension kicks in and Tony Snell (four years, $46MM) will take up a big chunk of the Bucks’ payroll so shedding Monroe’s salary remains an enticing proposition.

Here are additional notes around the Central Division:

  • Free agent Jason Terry is drawing interest around the league, Woelfel notes in the same article. The 39-year-old was a solid veteran presence for the Bucks last season but his return to Milwaukee is not certain. Woelfel adds that a Western Conference squad is weighing an offer to the former NBA champion.
  • After trading Marcus Morris to acquire Avery Bradley from the Celtics, the Pistons have high expectations from their new acquisition, Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes. Coach Stan Van Gundy expressed his excitement with Bradley joining the team while the Celtics’ second leading scorer last season is ready to maximize his skills under Van Gundy’s tutelage and alongside players like Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond.
  • Nikola Mirotic wants to remain with the Bulls and the feeling is mutual, Joe Cowley of he Chicago Sun-Times writes. While Chicago has undergone several changes — most notably trading away Jimmy Butler — the restricted free agent and the team are just waiting it out before likely agreeing to a deal. Mirotic also discusses Butler’s exit and his plans for the future.
  • One of the Bulls’ newest acquisitions, Zach LaVine, is expected to be ready for training camp as he rehabs from knee surgery, ESPN’s Marc J. Spears tweets.

Pistons Notes: KCP, Galloway, Johnson, Moreland

The Pistons were still undecided whether they would match any offer sheet for restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope until the Celtics offered shooting guard Avery Bradley and a draft pick for small forward Marcus Morris, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Though the Pistons reached an agreement with Langston Galloway during the first day of free agency, they were still hoping to re-sign Caldwell-Pope until Boston came calling, Langlois continues. The Pistons renounced their rights to Caldwell-Pope after the trade with Boston was finalized. Galloway will receive playing time at both guard positions, Langlois adds.

In other news regarding the team:

  • Coach Stan Van Gundy believes Stanley Johnson will bounce back from a disappointing sophomore campaign in part because he will play his natural small forward position regularly, Langlois writes. Johnson, who could become a starter in the aftermath of the Morris trade, might even play some power forward in smaller lineups.
  • The Pistons originally planned to sign big man Eric Moreland to a two-way contract if he impressed during the Orlando Summer League, Langlois notes in the same piece. Moreland exceeded all expectations, especially at the defensive end, and that’s what led to the team signing him to a three-year contract with a partial guarantee.
  • Van Gundy and GM Jeff Bower tried to trade for Galloway in recent seasons before landing him in free agency, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. “Langston Galloway has been a guy that Jeff and I have had an interest in virtually from the time we got here, when he was in New York [with the Knicks],” Van Gundy told Beard and the assembled media. “This year, when he was in New Orleans and Sacramento, we’ve made inquiries about trying to get him. It’s been a long process for us to try to bring Langston here.”
  • Palace Sports & Entertainment, which owns the team, and Olympia Entertainment, which owns the new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, were added to a federal lawsuit seeking to force a vote over the use of $34.5MM in public funding to finance the Pistons’ move, Katrease Stafford of the Detroit Free Press reports. The Pistons will share the arena with the NHL’s Red Wings, who are also owned by Olympia.

Central Notes: Pistons, Felder, Mirotic

There’s little doubt that the Pistons will benefit in the short-term from bringing Avery Bradley in as a replacement for the much costlier Kentavious Caldwell-Pope but make no mistake, Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News writes, they’re taking a big risk.

While Bradley is further along in his development as a perimeter stopper and boasts a more capable offensive game, the Pistons gave up considerable long-term security knowing that Bradley will hit the market as an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Essentially, Wojnowski adds, the Pistons were ready to shake things up and move on from the 24-year-old Caldwell-Pope but in doing so expose themselves to a greater threat of ultimately losing Bradley for nothing. Considering the upside after a stagnant 2016/17, it’s a gamble that a team in Detroit’s position couldn’t turn down.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers have brought in Jose Calderon to man their backup point guard position but that doesn’t mean Kay Felder is entirely out of the running, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. “Whoever plays the best will play,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “It’s not like Kay is out of it. He’s just got to continue to grow, get better, and he’s going to continue to get better.
  • A panelist of Bulls writers discussed the prospect of restricted free agent Nikola Mirotic returning to Chicago, with ESPN’s Nick Friedell ultimately saying that the Bulls may have a pre-established limit to how much they’ll spend to retain the big man’s services and if he can land that from another organization, they’ll let him leave.
  • A solid performance in the Orlando Summer League helped Eric Moreland land a job as the No. 3 center for the Pistons. “I think he’s an active big that really understands pick-and-roll defense,” Pistons associate head coach Bob Beyer told Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.

Celtics Trade Avery Bradley To Pistons

2:56pm: The Celtics and Pistons have sent out press releases confirming that Bradley and a 2019 second-round pick are headed to Detroit in exchange for Morris. The deal is now official.AveryBradley vertical

9:17am: The Celtics and Pistons are finalizing a trade that will send Avery Bradley to Detroit, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, Boston will also send out a 2019 second-round pick and will receive Marcus Morris in the swap.

Because Morris’ $5MM salary for 2017/18 is about $3.8MM lower than Bradley’s figure, the move will allow the Celtics to create the cap room necessary to finalize their maximum salary deal with Gordon Hayward, per Bobby Marks of ESPN. The club also has the $4.328MM room exception available for another free agent.

[RELATED: Gordon Hayward to sign four-year deal with Celtics]

Boston had reportedly been shopping Bradley, Jae Crowder, and Marcus Smart in an effort to clear enough space for Hayward’s new contract. With Bradley on the move, Crowder and Smart are poised to stay put, at least for now.

In addition to creating some cap space, the trade will add a power forward to a Celtics rotation that is in need of bigs. So far this offseason, the Celtics have waived Tyler Zeller and lost Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk in free agency, creating some frontcourt concerns for a team that already lacked reliable rim protection and rebounding. Morris isn’t an elite rebounder, but the 6’9″ forward has the ability to guard bigger players.

During his two seasons in Detroit, Morris missed just five regular season games, making 159 starts for the Pistons. He averaged 14.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 2.3 APG, with a shooting line of .426/.345/.763.

As for the Pistons’ side of the swap, the team had entered the offseason with a need for some backcourt depth and has now added Bradley and Langston Galloway. With Detroit’s payroll on the rise and its backcourt filling up, it will be interesting to see whether the team remains committed to retaining Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

By exceeding the taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Galloway, the Pistons created a hard cap of $125.266MM, significantly limiting their ability to match a big offer sheet for KCP unless they can shed a contract or two. Team salary is currently in about the $109MM range. For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (Twitter link) suggests the club’s talks with Caldwell-Pope haven’t progressed, and speculates that the team may make him unrestricted or decline to match an offer sheet.

Bradley, 26, enjoyed his best season in 2016/17 on a per-game basis, averaging new career bests in PPG (16.3), RPG (6.1), APG (2.2), and a handful of other categories. He also provided excellent perimeter defense and shot .463/.390/.731.

Although Bradley is a very solid pickup for the Pistons, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent a year from now, which is perhaps one reason the Celtics ended up moving him — Crowder remains under contract for three years, while Smart is a restricted free agent next summer and Morris has two years left on his deal, so the team retains some control on all three of those players. Wojnarowski suggests that the Pistons may be aggressive in pursuing a new deal for Bradley, who is extension-eligible, but the team’s cap situation limits its ability to give him a major raise before next summer.

Before agreeing to a trade with the Pistons, the Celtics reportedly talked to the Jazz about a sign-and-trade involving Crowder and to the Knicks about a deal that would have included Smart. Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter) that the Lakers and Clippers were “prominent in [Bradley] talks until the end.”

As an aside, it’s worth noting that the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement was put to good use in this deal. Under the new CBA, over-the-cap teams are permitted to take back 175% of their outgoing salary, plus $100K, instead of 150% plus $100K (up to a $5MM difference in salaries). In the old system, Detroit would only have been able to take back up to $7.6MM for Morris, but the new CBA allows the team to squeeze in Bradley’s $8.809MM salary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pistons Renounce Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

11:04am: The Pistons are renouncing Caldwell-Pope, which will make him an unrestricted free agent, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The timing of the move is interested, since the Nets’ cap room may be tied up for several days as they wait for official word from the Wizards on Porter. We’ll see if Caldwell-Pope waits on Brooklyn or quickly pursues a deal with another team.

11:02am: In the wake of their trade agreement for Avery Bradley, the Pistons are prepared to move on from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, reports Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). According to Ellis, Detroit is looking to add “two more guys” to its roster. But Caldwell-Pope may not be one of them.

[RELATED: Celtics to trade Avery Bradley to Pistons]

Talks between the Pistons and Caldwell-Pope haven’t progressed so far, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN tweeted earlier today. Windhorst noted that there’s a possibility Detroit will pull Caldwell-Pope’s offer and make him an unrestricted free agent. While that hasn’t happened yet, it doesn’t look like the Pistons will match a big offer sheet for KCP.

Caldwell-Pope, 24, is viewed as one of the top two-way wings left on the market, but the qualifying offer he received from the Pistons gives Detroit the opportunity to match any offer sheet he signed. However, having added Langston Galloway, Eric Moreland, and Bradley, the Pistons have upwards of $109MM in salary commitments and have a hard cap of $125.266MM.

While Caldwell-Pope may not receive a maximum salary deal, any offer worth more than about half the max would put the Pistons in a tough spot. And with Galloway and Bradley now in the mix, the team’s need for another guard has diminished — especially since Bradley can provide the sort of three-point shooting and defense that KCP did.

A report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski earlier today suggested that the Pistons may be aggressive in trying to extend Bradley, but the club’s cap situation limits its ability to make a competitive offer. Ellis (Twitter link) hears from a source that Bradley won’t do an in-season extension since the money is too low, but the team still hopes to have him long term in Detroit. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent next summer and the Pistons will hold his Bird rights.

Whether or not Caldwell-Pope’s qualifying offer is rescinded by the Pistons, it may make sense for his camp to wait to see what happens with the Nets and Otto Porter. The Wizards are expected to match Brooklyn’s offer sheet for Porter, and Caldwell-Pope may be next up on the Nets’ wish list.

Celtics Shopping Crowder, Smart, Bradley

In an effort to clear the cap room necessary to sign Gordon Hayward to his agreed-upon maximum salary contract, the Celtics have been discussing trades involving Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, and Avery Bradley, sources tell Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. According to the ESPN duo, Boston has discussed “trade concepts” involving those players with at least six teams.

[RELATED: Gordon Hayward to sign with Celtics]

Based on the NBA’s previous salary cap projections, it appeared the Celtics would have enough cap flexibility to move a smaller contract, such as Terry Rozier‘s, in order to create maximum salary room. However, when the cap came in lower than expected, at about $99MM, it all but guaranteed that Boston would have to move one of Crowder, Smart, or Bradley to make a max deal work.

Smart and Bradley are each entering contract years, so Crowder would likely be the most valuable trade chip of the three players. Crowder is under contract for the next three years for a total of about $22MM, making him a bargain. He’s also part of a growing logjam at small forward in Boston, with Hayward joining recent top-three picks Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

According to Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link), the Celtics offered Crowder to late-lottery teams leading up to June’s draft, hoping to acquire a pick and a young player. If the team wasn’t able to land that sort of package then, it’s even less likely now, given Boston’s reduced leverage, but Crowder should still have solid value.

Per Ian Begley of ESPN.com, the Celtics reached out to the Knicks today about Smart, but New York’s level of interest is unclear.

In addition to making a trade, the Celtics will likely have to renounce all their free agents and perhaps part with Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson to make room for Hayward.

Atlantic Notes: Rose, Zizic, Bradley, Iguodala

The Knicks have legitimate interest in re-signing Derrick Rose, reports Ian Begley of ESPN. At 28 years old, Rose will be a free agent for the first time in his career in the coming days. The report also states that the Knicks are not interested in paying large salaries for any free agents, so that may play a role in whether Rose re-signs with the team. The Knicks are also keen on ensuring Rose’s health, as the point guard’s career has been riddled with injuries both major and minor.

Here’s what else you need to know from the Atlantic division:

  • The Celtics‘ 2016 draft pick, Ante Zizic, arrived in Boston and will begin practicing with the team this week, reports Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Zizic was drafted 23rd overall and played the 2016/17 season in the EuroLeague with the Turkish club, Darussafaka Dogus, where he was coached by David Blatt“I took him downtown last night a little bit,” Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge said. “He’s just doing things like getting workouts in, getting medical stuff, physicals done, all that type of stuff. He’s ready for summer league.”
  • Despite being named in several blockbuster trade rumors, Avery Bradley remains unfazed, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England“I try not to worry about it too much because it’s out of my control at the end of the day,” Bradley said, adding, “It’s part of the business, man. You just got to accept and understand that your name is going to be thrown in trade talk. You can get traded at any time. You just have to be prepared and focus on just being the best player that you can be.”
  • As passed along earlier, the 76ers are one of the seven teams from which Andre Iguodala is drawing interest. Iguodala spent the first eight seasons of his career in Philadelphia.

Celtics Notes: Free Agents, Thomas, Green, George

Next season’s Celtics may have little resemblance to the group that earned the East’s top seed and reached the conference finals, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Free agents Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko are both very unlikely to be-resigned, according to Deveney. Johnson started 77 games this season, but his role was cut severely in the playoffs. Fellow free agents Gerald Green and James Young will also probably be let go. Kelly Olynyk may be a tougher call as a restricted free agent. The Celtics would like to keep him, Deveney notes, but they aren’t certain to match a large offer. The team would also like to trade center Tyler Zeller, who has one year left on his contract at $8MM, which won’t be guaranteed until July 2nd.

There’s more today out of Boston:

  • Isaiah Thomas is eligible for an extension this summer, but it’s unlikely to happen, Deveney states in the same story. Thomas has one year left on his deal at the extreme bargain price of about $6.26MM. The most likely scenario, according to Deveney, is that Thomas will play out his current contract, then pursue a max deal starting at more than $30MM per season in 2018, either from the Celtics or another organization. There has been speculation about a possible Thomas trade this summer, but Deveney says the Celtics haven’t talked to anyone about dealing him. Other offseason decisions include possible extensions for Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley, and Deveney notes that Boston can’t afford to invest big money in all three guards.
  • Executives around the league believe the Celtics will hold on to the No. 1 draft pick and select Markelle Fultz, Deveney adds in the same piece. They will take a year to see how he meshes with Thomas, Bradley and Smart before making any long-term decisions. Kansas forward Josh Jackson is probably the most likely choice if they pass on Fultz, according to Deveney.
  • At today’s exit interview, Green said he wants to return to the Celtics and help them win a title, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. The 31-year-old played just 47 games during the season, but started seven times in the playoffs.
  • Al Horford, who signed with the Celtics last summer, believes Boston will be a popular destination for free agents, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “I think it’s gonna be very attractive,” he said. “If you look at our team, the upside and everything, it’s a good time to be a Celtic.”
  • Boston has the assets to land Paul George in a trade if he refuses to sign a long-term deal with the Pacers, according to Bobby Marks of The Vertical. Marks and Chris Mannix discuss the Celtics’ offseason options in a video on the Vertical website, with Marks saying a trade with Indiana is feasible without including the Nets’ pick for this year or 2018. He suggests a package of Jae Crowder, Terry Rozier, Zeller and the Grizzlies’ 2019 first-rounder may be enough to get a deal done.

Atlantic Rumors: Nets, Grant, Goodwin, Bradley

The Nets are taking a close look at European shooting guard Edwin Jackson while scouting overseas, international journalist David Pick tweets. Jackson, 27, plays for Movistar Estudiantes  in the Spanish league and is averaging 22.9 PPG in 24 games while shooting 38.6% on his 3-point attempts. The 6’3” Jackson participated in the team’s free agent mini-camp in 2014, NetsDaily.com notes.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • Former Sixers forward Jerami Grant still regards his former team as family, Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com writes. Grant was dealt to the Thunder the first week of the season in exchange for Ersan Ilyasova and a protected draft pick. Grant expressed happiness that the Sixers have improved this season and said he had no time to say goodbye when the trade occurred, Camerato adds. “I had to pack my bags and things in two hours,” Grant told Camerato. “I had to get a physical so I could play the next day in L.A. At first it was a little shock, but once you settle down, it’s OK.”
  • There’s a good chance the Nets will retain shooting guard Archie Goodwin once his first 10-day contract expires, according to a tweet from the New York Post’s Fred Kerber. Coach Kenny Atkinson told Kerber “it’s trending very positive” for Goodwin, who signed a 10-day on March 15th. Goodwin, who also played three games for the Pelicans this season, is averaging 7.0 PPG and 2.5 APG in 16 MPG through two outings for the Nets.
  • Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley is the league’s most underrated player, Chris Mannix of The Vertical opines. Bradley has developed into an elite two-way player who earned strong consideration for an All-Star spot before he was sidelined by an Achilles’ injury, Mannix continues. Bradley’s development has made his once-derided four-year, $32MM contract ,which expires after next season, one of the league’s biggest bargains, Mannix adds.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Ibaka, Bradley

Despite the fact that the Nets mortgaged their future for a shot at short-term success back in 2013, the franchise has shown flashes of promise throughout a long rebuild. Buddy Grizzard of Basketball Insiders recently wrote about the years-long process, pointing out that for all the up-hill challenges the club’s general managers have faced, they’ve done a decent job drafting young talent.

When the club first moved to from New Jersey to Brooklyn, first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 were all sent to Boston in exchange for a package surrounding Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Suffice it to say, the bold gamble didn’t pay off for the franchise but the organization is making the most out of the scant cards they dealt themselves.

Grizzard mentions former general manager Billy King‘s selection of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the 2015 draft as an intriguing aspect of the current roster, as well as current general manager Sean Marks‘ decision to nab Caris LeVert at No. 20 in 2016.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • After missing 18 games with an Achilles injury, Avery Bradley had been on a minute restriction for the Celtics. As of March 12th the limitations are no longer, says A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England.
  • Say what you will about Cory Joseph backing up the injured Kyle Lowry, but one thing the reserve hasn’t been able to replicate is Lowry’s three-point shooting. “We’re more of a spread-it team,” Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said Monday night, per Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. “Cory’s an attack guy, but he’s going into where everybody else is. It’s not that Cory’s doing something wrong; that’s just his game. When Kyle’s in there, he can space out and be one of the (pass) receivers out there.”
  • When the Raptors acquired Serge Ibaka, they added a rare force capable of impacting a basketball game without scoring a point, Ryan Wolstat of the National Post writes. Ibaka did just that on Monday night, finishing with a plus-18 rating despite not scoring a single basket.

 

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