By: Will Burchfield
The Pistons have been aggressively pursuing deals to improve their roster ahead of the Feb. 8 trade deadline, but amid an eight-game losing streak they might reverse course.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi reported on Monday morning that the team has made Avery Bradley “available in trade talks.” Bradley, an elite defender and one of the best two-way guards in the NBA, is set to become a free agent this summer.
Per Wojnarowski, the Pistons’ asking price is “significant.”
Detroit acquired Bradley last summer from the Celtics in exchange for Marcus Morris. The Pistons renounced the rights to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope immediately thereafter, expecting they could sign Bradley to a long-term extension.
They’re now fearing he could walk in free agency, at which point they would lose him for nothing.
Bradley, 27, currently makes $8 million per year, but could rake in nearly three times that amount on the open market this summer. He’s a two-time all-defensive player. In 40 games this season, he’s averaging 15 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting about 38 percent from beyond the arc.
The Pistons looked like a playoff team earlier this season, but they’ve struggled mightily since losing point guard Reggie Jackson to an ankle injury. They’ve lost 12 of 15 games without Jackson to fall four games below .500 and three games out of a playoff spot.
Head coach/president Stan Van Gundy has been clear about his desire to win now, but it might be time for the Pistons to sell.