So, it turns out Avery Bradley is going to be a part of the Boston Celtics’ future.
Thats right, everyone: the Cs’ first move of the offseason is officially in the books, and barring a trade, Avery Bradley will be a Celtic for another 4 seasons.
Can confirm that the #Celtics & RFA Avery Bradley have agreed to a deal. Terms: 4-year-deal worth $32 million.
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) July 2, 2014
The 23-year-old guard has just come off the best season of his career, despite missing 22 games. He proved to be a fairly consistent jump shooter and showed that he was capable of posting over 20 points on any given night. The defense was stellar as usual, and although Bradley logged more turnovers than assists (96 and 85, respectively), he demonstrated that he could help at the point guard slot when no better options were available. He struggled with his jumper in the early months of the season, only shooting 30 percent from deep in November, as the year progressed, so did he, and he steadily increased his efficiency from beyond the arc until he was hitting an impressive 39.5 percent.
But as great of a year as Bradley had, this deal was a big mistake for Boston.
The Celtics had tried to extend Bradley last summer to a four-year, $24 million deal, but Bradley’s camp wanted more money, so the talks fell through. It was originally rumored that Danny Ainge was not willing to return to a deal as lucrative as the aforementioned, but clearly something changed, and yesterday, the Celtics decided to shell out an extra $2 million a season for his services.
Aside from the cap-clipping effect from this contract, the C’s now are overloaded in the backcourt. They drafted two guards in Marcus Smart and James Young, and it was thought that Smart, the sixth overall pick, would play the 2, and be starting alongside Rajon Rondo come October. Now, with Bradley factored into the equation, it seems all but inevitable that Smart will come off the bench. Sure, it’s nice to have productive players on the pine, but Phil Pressey was already handling the backup point guard role pretty nicely, and Smart’s upside is just too high to risk hindering his growth by not giving him sufficient minutes.
Even when the logjam isn’t considered, financially, the deal is an enormous risk. Bradley has already been with the Celtics for four years, but in that time, he has only appeared in 205 games. The injury troubles are very-much-so a reality for Bradley, who still hasn’t shown the ability to stay on the floor for more than a few months at a time. His ankles and shoulders have both betrayed him on more than one occasion, and for someone who relies so much on his jumper to score, knowing his shoulder-injury history is a big concern.
It was also reported that the Celtics had contacted Utah’s Gordon Hayward in regards to a possible signing, however, at this point, another 2-guard pickup for Boston would be redundant and completely unnecessary.
The C’s were hoping for something special this summer, but now, Bradley’s return has made that exponentially more unlikely. While the former Texas standout is certainly a productive player when he is healthy, the front office’s decision to lock him up for another four years is leaving fans with more questions than answers.
Where will Ainge go from here?
We’ll just have to wait and see.