Auburn Hills — Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said this week that the decision to trade Marcus Morris to the Boston Celtics was difficult — but getting Avery Bradley in return was well worth it.
It’s part of the reshaping of the roster that Van Gundy and general manager Jeff Bower have done over the summer to try to get the Pistons back to the playoffs. That’s included parting with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and adding some complementary pieces.
Van Gundy doubled down on Thursday, at Bradley’s introductory press conference at the team’s practice facility. Bradley is set to be one of the centerpieces to the revamped Pistons roster, getting the thumbs-up from Van Gundy, who saw plenty of positives in getting one of the best two-way players in the league.
“There really weren’t any negatives here; he’s a guy we’re really excited about to take a leadership role in us going forward,” Van Gundy said. “With (Reggie Jackson and Bradley), we have one of the best backcourts in the league and we’ll be expecting a lot out of Avery on the offensive end of the floor.
“He can guard either guard position and we’re looking forward to his play on the court, his leadership, and welcoming him and his family here to Detroit and getting them here as soon as possible.”
With seven years in the NBA — all with the Celtics — Bradley, 26, immediately becomes one of the senior members of the Pistons’ roster, which only has one player (Anthony Tolliver) over the age of 30.
Bradley looked to set the tone, bringing a maturity that may have impressed Van Gundy, as well as Jackson, his new backcourt mate, who flew in from California just for the press conference.
“As NBA players, if we want to play this game, we should maximize our games and I feel like he’s going to give me a chance to do that,” Bradley said of Van Gundy. “I hope you guys are excited about what I’m going to bring to this city because I’m going to leave everything out there on the floor.
“I hope I can bring a different style and be nasty. That’s what we want: to bring a championship back to Detroit.”