BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics may have traded Avery Bradley within the Eastern Conference to the Pistons, but they reportedly came very close to shipping the guard out west.
ESPN’s Marc Spears tweeted on Saturday that the Clippers were “close but no cigar” in an attempt to trade for Bradley, a move that would have reunited the guard with former Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had previously reported that the Clippers and Lakers were “aggressive suitors” for Bradley’s services.
The C’s ultimately shipped Bradley and a 2019 second-round pick to the Pistons for Marcus Morris, which cleared up the necessary cap space to sign free agent Gordon Hayward to a four-year max contract. Spears’ tweet implies that Danny Ainge was left with a choice between packages from the Pistons and Clippers at the end of trade talks.
Rivers coached Bradley for the guard’s first three seasons of his NBA career from 2011-13, the coach’s final three years with the C’s before being traded to the Clippers himself.
The Clippers had already acquired guard Patrick Beverley from the Rockets in a trade for All-Star point guard Chris Paul, a deal that landed the Clips a guard who was First Team All-Defense in 2016-17. He and Bradley could have combined to create one of the NBA’s best defensive backcourts.