Avery Bradley’s leadership will hold value for Detroit

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: Avery Bradley
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: Avery Bradley /

On July 7th, the Detroit Pistons finalized a deal with the Boston Celtics involving the exchange of forward Marcus Morris for Celtic shooting guard Avery Bradley and a second round pick.

It’s seems like it’s been forever ago since news came out one Friday morning of the Detroit Pistons finalizing a deal with the Boston Celtics. And it’s still fresh news that has left Piston fans flustered.

As previously mentioned, July 7th marks the day Detroit traded away Marcus Morris for Celtic shooting guard Avery Bradley. July 7th also marks the day Detroit ultimately parted ways with what was believed to be their shooting guard of the future, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and rescinded his qualifying offer.

Most would say the decision to bring in Avery Bradley as Caldwell-Pope’s replacement was an ingenious move from Detroit’s front office as the level in offensive and defensive abilities greatly improves. Some, however, can not and will not accept the move arguing Detroit gave up two starters for the price of one.

Bleacher Report sides with fans who believe the Pistons made the wrong move.

In an article granting off-season awards to NBA teams, the Detroit Pistons were given the “Worst Front Office” award due to the Avery Bradley trade:

"In a vacuum, Bradley is a better player than Marcus Morris. Especially coming off a season in which he connected on 39 percent of his looks from downtown and continued to solidify his reputation as a defensive ace, he’s a valuable piece for any squad. But bringing him in required renouncing Caldwell-Pope’s rights, which guaranteed his exit and paved the way toward a one-year balloon deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.And for what?"

Bleacher Report goes further to explain Bradley will not push Detroit back into the playoffs and states he’s an expiring contract who may as well leave Detroit next off-season.

And Bleacher Report, as well as fans, are undeniably right to be concerned with Bradley’s withering contract. It would bite the Pistons on their behind if Bradley were to leave next off-season.

At such point, two previous starters WOULD have been given away for the price of nothing: leaving Detroit in a position to rebuild or piece together a difficult puzzle. And who knows how that drama would end?

However, claiming Avery Bradley will not take Detroit to the playoffs (especially when considering how weak the East has become) is absurd. In fact, Avery Bradley’s arrival to Detroit should carry more optimism than it has as the 26-year-old shooting guard brings aspects the Pistons will truly value: leadership and a hardworking mentality.

Leadership and Hardworking Mentality

Everybody in the league knows who Avery Bradley is. Detroit always referred to Bradley as the 3-and-D star they intended Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to shape into. Boston has always recognized him as more.

The Celtics saw Avery Bradley as a leader.

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After game five of the Eastern Conference Finals, Boston coach Brad Stevens was asked and expanded on Bradley’s leadership abilities.

Stevens explained Bradley’s leadership as authentic and example setting: something that will prove valuable for Detroit.

Last season, the Piston squad lacked adequate leaders. Marcus Morris was always acclaimed to be a leader, though his presence alone wasn’t enough for the Pistons to play hard or well enough to reclaim a playoff spot. Especially near the end of last season, Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons appeared both frustrated and disconnected: seemingly playing with a ‘given-up’ attitude.

With Bradley in the picture, such play should be limited to none next season.

Avery Bradley, as stated by Brad Stevens, is an example setter: he plays the game the way it should be played. He’s an encouraging, defensive star possessing a hardworking mentality who cares extremely about his team’s success.

And that type of leadership should rub off other Detroit Pistons well next season.

If all goes as expected under Stan Van Gundy’s scheme, every Piston will match Bradley’s effort on a nightly basis. And with such effort, success won’t be too far off.

In the past when Detroit has won championships and dominated the East, the Pistons were always about hard work, defense, and playing with passion. Stan Van Gundy has tried replicating the same style of basketball for some while now, but has lacked sufficient effort from every player every game.

Bringing in Avery Bradley fixes that.

In recent past when the Detroit Pistons played passionate, defensive-minded, diligent basketball (such as March 8th at the Palace against the Cleveland Cavaliers), they’ve appeared dominate. By adding Avery Bradley’s leadership and hardworking mentality alone, such level of dominance and competitive basketball should occur on a nightly basis: leading to success.

Bleacher Report has the right to worry about Avery Bradley’s expiring contract, though claiming Detroit will miss next year’s playoff while granting them with the “Worst Front Office Award” is crazy.

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Avery Bradley’s example-setting leadership supported by his hardworking mentality will rub off on others well next season. Mix his leadership with Anthony Tolliver‘s and Langston Galloway‘s character plus a bit of Reggie Jackson‘s passion and now, fans have a fun and competitive Detroit team to support.

Therefore, optimism should reign high with Avery Bradley’s arrival to Detroit.