Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley had a mixed season. He made huge strides offensively, averaging 14.9 point per game and shooting a blistering 39.5 percent from three-point range, up nearly eight percentage points year over year. But he also suffered numerous injuries, played in just 60 games (he's never played in more than 60), and the Celtics were of course a complete disaster.
All of this complicates his contract situation. The Celtics reportedly offered Bradley a four-year, $24 milion deal before the Nov. 1 deadline, but Bradley declined, wanting to see if he could get more in free agency. Now, the Boston Herald reports that due to the injuries, Boston may not return to that number.
Consider that Avery Bradley — one of the C's brightest hopes in the last four seasons — could easily join the departed.
In most years, unrestricted free agents are a good bet to return to the team that holds their matching rights. But when Bradley and his camp broke off extension talks with the Celtics over the winter despite the fact that the sides weren't far apart, the guard may also have lost out on his best-case money scenario for next season.
Bradley's ongoing brittleness considered, the C's are unlikely to return to the four-year, $24 million extension that was previously offered. The injury issue may also limit what he finds on the market this summer.
Both sides are going to have points here. Bradley has value on the open market as a great defender who has worked to develop is offense. As a 3-and-D guy he can do a lot for teams. He durability issues aren't with a knee, it's primarly been his shoulder. It's a repetitive injury but one he can likely get past.
But the Celtics shouldn't commit longterm money to anyone who's not a star at this point. They have too much work to do to rebuild the team. We'll see if Bradley can get a better offer in free agency or if he has to come back at a discount.