The Boston Celtics’ offseason and how they stack up against the Detroit Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, MI - FEBRUARY 26: Tobias Harris /

The Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons were linked together heavily this offseason thanks to a big-time trade which shook up both teams.

On July 7 the Boston Celtics traded one of the best defenders in the NBA, Avery Bradley, to the Detroit Pistons, who in return sent them lockerroom leader Marcus Morris and a 2019 second-round draft pick.

Not only was this trade massive because it saw a player of Bradley’s calibre being traded away from one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference, but it carried even more significance as it all but confirmed that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope wouldn’t be re-signed.

In Pistons circles most of 2017 had been clouded by the discussion of Caldwell-Pope’s future, with a lot of the fanbase seemingly split on what the right move for the future was.

Stan Van Gundy decided he’d rather gamble on Bradley re-signing with the Pistons beyond 2018 than locking away a considerable amount of money with Caldwell-Pope.

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This deal also came at the cost of Marcus Morris, who Van Gundy was a massive fan of and went as far as saying that trading him was the toughest call he’s had to make during his tenure with the Pistons.

Outside of this trade between the two teams, the Celtics also found themselves signing former-Pistons backup centre, Aron Baynes.

Baynes was never a standout player in Detroit, but his no-nonsense style of play and his commitment to playing hard on defence endeared him to fans and those who followed the team closely.

The Celtics definitely have found themselves the perfect backup player and he will undoubtedly be a pivotal player at times throughout the upcoming season.

Arguably a bigger offseason move than packaging away Avery Bradley was the signing of Gordon Hayward.

Rumours of Hayward shipping off to Boston had been floating around right from the moment Brad Stevens signed as coach, and despite Hayward and Stevens downplaying their relationship the rumours turned into truth.

Normally, a signing of this calibre would be by far the biggest thing to happen to a team during the offseason, but when you’re a historic franchise like the Celtics the norm doesn’t often apply.

The NBA world was plunged into chaos when the bombshell Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas trade was dropped.

We’d learned that Irving had grown tired and frustrated playing second-fiddle to LeBron James, but nobody saw the Celtics getting involved and most people would have called you crazy had you said they’d be shipping off Thomas.

Thomas had endeared himself to the Celtics’ fanbase like no other player for quite some time and his valiant and brave efforts in the 2017 playoffs made it seem like he’d be a Celtic for the rest of his career.

So it shocked just about everyone when the news broke that Thomas, alongside Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a pair of draft picks were being sent off in exchange for Irving.

In the wake of the trade, debate raged over which team got the better return for the trade, but regardless the Celtics have themselves a genuine star and game-winner at point guard.

The 2016-17 season series between the Celtics and the Pistons finished well and truly in favour of Boston.

Three of the four games between the teams were won by the Celtics, but positively, each of the losses come in a close contest.

The Pistons’ biggest loss came by 6 points, with the other two being by 4 points and 2 points.

Detroit’s one win came in a 121-114 shootout at the TD Garden.

Considering the Celtics finished on top of the Eastern Conference, being so competitive despite overall having a disappointing year is something to be proud of.

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However, with so many significant changes to the Celtics during the offseason, it’s hard to accurately predict how this season’s matchups will play out.

They’re currently projected to roll out a starting lineup of Irving, Jaylen Brown, Hayward, Morris and Al Horford.

In the past facing off against Irving would have likely spelt disaster for the Pistons, but with the addition of Avery Bradley, his impact will likely be more subdued than previously.

Morris matching up against his old team will be intriguing viewing and he’ll likely find himself up against Tobias Harris, which you’d have to give the edge to Harris when looking at the battle on paper.

One big factor that supports Detroit likely being extremely competitive against the Celtics again in 2017-18 is that Andre Drummond always brings his A-game in those contests.

Against the Celtics Drummond averaged 21.3 points and 17.8 rebounds, which was significantly better than his overall season averages (13.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per game).

Drummond feasts on Horford and even with the handy addition of Baynes off the bench it’s hard to see how the Celtics will be able to contain Detroit’s man in the middle.

Where the Celtics may have the competitive edge is in the team’s bench unit.

Boston’s bench unit is quite dangerous with guys like Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier and even rookie Jayson Tatum, while Baynes provides a massive increase in bench leadership.

The Pistons seem like they’ll have an improved bench in 2017-18, but it will be interesting to see how consistent they are considering how young and inexperienced it is.

Next: Should the Pistons consider the T word?

Detroit and Boston will face off three times this upcoming season, and with the Celtics two new star additions, they’ll surely be massive contests.