Bold statement. I'm sure Cooper, Jordan, etc. would have something to say about it.
I love Bradley, but I would love him much more if he had prototypical SG size. As great as a defender as he is, bigger guards can still shoot over him. That'll never change.
It's a legit possiblility. The idea of bigger guards shooting over Bradley is all 'on paper'. In all the time I watched Bradley I saw no signs of him being dominated by larger SG's. He has held his own against anyone he's gone up against.
Also his defensive intensity is (IMHO) right up there at Michael Jordan levels right now
. He's only 21 years old and has only really played one full season in the league.
I'm not saying he will be the best on ball defender of all time, but the potential is definately there for him to be a legendary defensive player when all is said and done.
This trade is really hard for me. On one hand Bradley is one of the few players on this team that I really don't want to see leave - I love what this guys brings. His effort, his hustle, the way he dominates on defense. Plus there is his youth (and hence potential), his speed in the open court.
On the other hand there are really only five centers in the league who help you on offense, on defense AND on rebounds:
* Dwight Howard
* Andrew Bynum
* Al Hortford
* Joakim Noah
* Marcin Gortat
Varejao and Chandler are offensively limited. Jefferson, Amare and Monroe are defensively limited. Brook Lopez rebounds like a small forward. Bosh is a Power Forward pretending to be a Center.
That means Marcin is a top 10 center AT LEAST, possibly even top 5. For a team that lacks size, rebounding and interior defense as much as we do, it's hard to turn down an opportunity to pick up a player with Gortat's talent...especially when you look at the contract he's on. Take a look at what guys like Hibbert and Asik are getting paid - if he was a free agent Gortat would be (or at the very least be close to) a max contract guy.
If this trade was for Lee and Melo (or Bass and Melo) I'd yes in a heart beat. If it was for Bass and Lee (I dont think the numbers match) it would be a bit tougher, but I'd still take it for sure.
For Avery it's really tough. Especially when you look at the salary matching, because that means we'd need to give up another 5M or so player (Lee, Bass, Terry) ALONG with Avery in order to make it work.
Giving up Bass or
Lee + Sullinger makes the most sense. With Gortat starting and KG moving to PF we would have three bigs (Bass, Sully, Wilcox) fighting for minutes off the bench. That's a waste of good talent, becasue no way we can get all of them good playing time.
Likewise once Bradley returns - assuming he starts - we are not going to be able to find time for Barbosa, Lee AND Terry off the bench. One of those guys will need to have his playing time sacrificed, otherwise it's going to hurt them all.
Trading Lee + Sully matches perfectly on the Salaries (around 8M there) and it gives Phoenix two talented young players who are good enough to start now.
For us it leaves us with a fantastic 4 guard rotation (Rondo, Bradley, Barbosa, Terry) and a great front court rotation (KG, Gortat, Bass, Wilcox).
I really don't know who I'd rather keep out of Sully and Bass. Both have fought so hard for us and both are high energy players who can contribute in multiple ways (Bass with defense adn scoring, Sully with scoring and rebounding). Bass give more athletism while Sully is younger and has more upside.
Losing either would be hard, but worth it if it means getting a big of Gortat's calibre in return.
With Rondo, Bradley, Pierce, Garnett, Gortat we have arguably the best starting 5 in the NBA. Very few teams would have the size to matchup with that PP/KG/MG front line, especially if the Lakers do trade Gasol out.
Our bench (Barbosa, Terry, Green, Bass, Wilcox) also looks very good.
We would never (ever) have to play small Bass/Sully at center again because KG, Gortat and Wilcox can easilly cover it between them.
We proved today that we CAN beat a good team without Avery...but Lee's defense on Kevin Martin and Sully's hustle had a lot to do with that.
I just don't know...such a hard call whether Gortat would be more important to us then Bradley or Lee + Sully or Bradley + Bass.
I have to say the thought of KG and Gortat on the floor at the same time (defensively) is super appealing, and combining that with Avery's perimeter defense would make us one hell of a defensive team.
All I'm thinking about right now is the defense + rebounding, but scoring is another thing to consider. Gortat + Garnett would be a very good front court offensively. Both can score inside or out, both are solid free throw shooters, both are mobile.