The big move the Detroit Pistons made this off-season was trading for Avery Bradley from the Boston Celtics. Well, it was really their ONLY move, but it should pay immediate dividends.
Bradley comes in as a tenacious on-ball defender, something the Pistons have been lacking lately, especially at the guard position. That improvement should be felt in every aspect of the game, including takeaways, fast break points. This would then allow guards Reggie Jackson, Ish Smith, and rookie Luke Kennard to focus more energy on creating shots and dishing the ball. Plus, Bradley said in his welcome press conference that he wants to bring a “nasty” style of play back to Detroit. All the “Bad Boys” fans can appreciate that.
Bradley’s potential positive impact is being noticed outside of Detroit as well. Sekou Smith at NBA.com lists him as one of three potential break-out stars in the Eastern Conference this year, writing:
Bradley is more than just a defensive stopper. He’s undersized at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds but proved to be an effective scorer (16.3) and rebounder (6.1) for his position in his final season in Boston.
If Bradley’s track record is any indication, his career should blossom in Detroit.
The only issue with Bradley is that his contract expires after this season and he becomes an unrestricted free agent. That doesn’t give coach Stan Van Gundy much time to convince Bradley that he should stay in Detroit long-term. However, if Bradley is good enough to lead the way for the Pistons to return to some semblance of respectability this season, that certainly couldn’t hurt.
The other players Sekou mentions in his column are Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks.