Former Texas shooting guard Avery Bradley is on the move again after a short stint with the Detroit Pistons, while big man Jarrett Allen has continued to improve with the Brooklyn Nets as his rookie season progresses.
Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Clippers
The Detroit Pistons traded Avery Bradley, as well as his teammates Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic, late Monday afternoon to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for All-Star power forward Blake Griffin. The move came as a surprise since Bradley had recently been sidelined due to a groin injury.
Rumblings that Bradley was on the trading block began earlier in the day, but it did not look like a deal would be finished until the deadline, mainly because of his groin injury. Teams seemed concerned about the injury since it caused Bradley to miss seven games earlier in the season as well. Bradley, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Boston Celtics, is now on his third team in six months.
Bradley averaged 15 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his four-month stint with the Pistons. The averages pale in comparison to those that Bradley had in his career-year with the Celtics last season. Furthermore, Bradley’s defense, which the guard has built a reputation for, has taken a step back. It is possible the groin injury that has troubled Bradley throughout the year has been the culprit behind his average defensive play.
It is not clear whether the injury will continue to hamper Bradley’s ability to return to the court, but he should have an easier time integrating with his new team since Clippers head coach Doc Rivers coached Bradley from 2010–13 in Boston.
Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets
As is the case with most players picked after the lottery, Allen has had an up-and-down time midway through his rookie season. He’s struggled to find consistent minutes on the court. His numbers aren’t overly impressive — a mere 6.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game — but Allen has done a good job of shooting a high percentage from the field.
Allen has had a nice three-game stretch with averages of 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game against playoff-caliber competition. While his efforts did come in consecutive losses, Allen has seen his minutes increase as Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson has slowly lowered the minutes of veteran center Timofey Mozgov.
Allen has also seen an increase in his usage rate while he’s been on the floor. Atkinson has begun running plays exclusively for Allen. This is a big shift from the trend earlier in the season.
Allen spent most of the early part of the season scoring within five feet of the rim. But recently Allen has scored from mid-range. Adding a consistent mid-range game would allow Allen to align himself with the NBA’s modern big men.