NBA.com’s Sekou Smith recently wrote about three players he thinks could be on the verge of going from star to superstar this season: Bradley Beal, Avery Bradley and Kristaps Porzingis. Aren’t we lucky that one of them who recently played in an Eastern Conference Finals with the Boston Celtics is now wearing a Detroit Pistons uniform?
I for one have already penciled him in for his first trip to the All Star Game, but hadn’t necessarily pegged him as being ready to vault to superstar. Sekou obvious thinks otherwise:
When Celtics boss Danny Ainge traded Bradley to Detroit to kick off a summer makeover for the Boston Celtics, he traded away one of the most underrated players in the league. Bradley’s opportunity to shine in Detroit will come with his continued work as one of the best defensive players in the league. He’s a relentless on-ball defender with the quickness, athleticism and physicality to guard three positions soundly.
Of course defense has been his calling card, and I don’t think for a second if it weren’t that Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Bower would’ve let Kentavious Caldwell Pope go without a fight.
But Bradley is more than just a defensive stopper.
Ok ok, sorry! Jeez, Sekou, chill. I get that.
He’s undersized at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds but proved to be an effective scorer (16.3) and rebounder (6.1) for his position in his final season in Boston.
6.1 rebounds is nothing to shake a stick at, especially for his size and position.
Much of his success this season will depend on the trust and relationship he develops with Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy. If Bradley’s track record is any indication, his career should blossom in Detroit.
That I totally agree with, and if the undertones of his introductory press conference mean anything, Stan has already let him know how much he’ll be relying on him, not only as the multi-talented player he’s been but also as a leader who spearheads a renewed commitment to defense and overall intensity.
I certainly hope he blossoms into a superstar this season. The Pistons have been searching for not only a transcendent talent since the last gasps of the Going to Work days, they have been looking for a leader. Some may argue Reggie Jackson is that leader. I’m not one of them.
If he can make that jump I think it will have come as a result of a strong playoff-bound season for the Pistons and his first trip to the NBA All Star Game. Consequently those two factors would seem to me to be imperative to get him to sign long term after this season. It’s a tall order, but one that doesn’t seem completely out of the realm of possibility.
What do you think? Do you think Avery has superstar potential?