The inevitable has happened. Boston had to part with either Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, or Avery Bradley… and Bradley was always the choice that made the most sense.
Getting Marcus Morris back helps clear the necessary cap space ($3.8, to be exact since Morris makes $5 mil.) and it helps bolster a frontcourt that needed a bit of help. He’s not going to spend as much time down low as his brother, but he can play the 4 and I’ll bet that’s where he spend the bulk of his time.
All things considered… this is a decent deal for Boston. It sucks to lose Avery Bradley, but that’s the cost of doing business. Marcus Morris isn’t a bruising rim protector, but he’s a guy that will help, and he’s only owed $10.3 million over the next two years.
It’s certainly not perfect, but this was a situation where Ainge had little leverage against a ticking clock. It always made more sense to me to keep Smart and Crowder. This deal is palatable to me.
I will say, though, that seeing it written down… seeing that Bradley is now leaving Boston… did make me sad. The guy has spent seven years in Boston, growing significantly from year to year, and ultimately becoming a leader in the locker room.
In an ideal world, Avery Bradley is a guy you keep around forever. He’s exactly the type of competitor, leader, and citizen every team craves.
However, sports are not an ideal world. Bradley’s departure is the ultimate reminder that this is a business where numbers must fit on a ledger as much as talent must fit on the court. Bradley’s number just didn’t fit anymore, so he will have to get the contract he deserves from a team he shouldn’t have to join.
Such is the business of the NBA. We in Boston will move forward with a better, much different looking team, and we’ll look forward to the first time Detroit visits the Garden so we can give Avery Bradley the ovation he deserves.