2017-2018 Season Preview: Avery Bradley
After losing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, the Detroit Pistons’ front office knew it had to fill up a significant hole at the 2-guard spot. Rookie Luke Kennard simply needs time to develop, and thrusting him into the starting spot would create a plethora of issues for a Pistons team that lacks a defensive identity.
Enter Avery Bradley, the Pistons’ marquee acquisition this summer, who signing alone resolved any doubts that Pistons fans might have with the lack of a formidable shooting guard after Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s departure.
Bradley is a solid upgrade over Caldwell-Pope, given that he is known as one of the best (if not the best) defenders at the two-guard spot. In the 2015-16 season, Bradley earned first team all-defensive honors.
In addition, according to Basketball-Reference, Bradley is a much better three-point option than his precursor, shooting an efficient 39% from deep last year, compared to Caldwell-Pope’s average 35%.
Last season, Bradley had a career year, hitting career highs in points, rebounds, assists, and field goal percentage. For his former team, the Boston Celtics, the two-guard increased his role to become the second option for the Eastern Conference runner-ups, taking the helm after Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury during the Eastern Conference Finals.
Aside from finding a new home in Detroit this summer, Bradley hosted his yearly youth skills camp, Avery Bradley Skills Academy, in Massachusetts, Washington, Vancouver, and Trinidad & Tobago. Now that Bradley is with the Pistons, it wouldn’t be surprising if he hosts his camps in the state of Michigan next summer.
Bradley’s role with the Pistons will most likely be a magnified version of KCP’s. Bradley is a three and D player who fits like a glove into Stan Van Gundy’s 41 offensive scheme. Bradley will certainly be a starter and should serve as a mentor for rookie Luke Kennard.
— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) September 18, 2017
As for his expectations, Bradley has the ability to be the team’s first option. Bradley showed flashes of a potential isolation game with the Celtics last year, and for a team that desperately lacks defense and perimeter shooting, the Pistons’ new acquisition fits the team’s mold quite perfectly.
Bradley can be the Pistons’ first option this season. His efficient shooting ability should be able to propel the Pistons into more success this season, and his lockdown defense should serve to provide a true identity for his new team.