2018 NBA free agency grades: Clippers will re-sign Avery Bradley

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images /

Despite taking guards with their two lottery picks in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers plan to run it back with Avery Bradley on a two-year deal.

According to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports, the Los Angeles Clippers and Avery Bradley have agreed to a two-year, $25 million deal that will bring the combo guard back to LA.

While the agreement itself comes as little surprise considering the familiarity between Bradley and head coach Doc Rivers, the overall value of the deal serves as a bit of a head-scratcher.

Due to the current cap climate, very few teams had the necessary space to offer contracts of this size, especially to players who have the type of injury history Bradley does.

The eight-year veteran has sustained a laundry list of ailments over the course of his career, and, as recently as March, he required surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Health permitting, though, this is a fine deal for a Clippers team unlikely to seriously contend in 2018-19. Bradley is an above-average two-way player that brings elite perimeter defense to any team that employs him and his ability to stretch the floor makes him a solid 3-and-D option.

He should also be able to set a nice example for rookie guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson, who were selected with the No. 11 and No. 13 picks, respectively. It’s not hard to envision him having success next to either one of them.

Robinson enters the league with major questions surrounding his defense, but Bradley’s presence alone will afford him the opportunity to guard the weakest of opponents’ perimeter options.

On the other hand, Gilgeous-Alexander and Bradley have the potential to form a potent tandem defensively given the former’s length and athleticism and the latter’s overall tenacity and hustle. Unlike Robinson, Gilgeous-Alexander has a long way to go offensively, and he’ll need to take advantage of the spacing Bradley provides in order to get to the rim for easy buckets.

Overall this is a low-risk, high-reward investment for the Clippers, even if the price tag seems high. Should Bradley fall victim to serious injury again, L.A. will only be on the hook for this season and next, leaving them with plenty of flexibility as they continue to re-tool and rebuild this team.

Bradley could be used as a nice trade chip at the 2020 trade deadline if things don’t work out, too. Contenders looking to add veteran help on the perimeter could view his expiring contract as a valuable enough piece that the Clippers could net a future first round pick for.

The only thing keeping this from being an “A” grade is Bradley’s propensity for winding up on IR. Other than that, it’s a reasonable gamble for a team in the Clippers’ current position.

Next: 2018 NBA free agency tracker: Grades for every deal so far

Grade: B