Tim MacLean (@TimMacLean_)
For Avery Bradley, the 2013-14 campaign is one that will ultimately aide in determining the young guard’s NBA future. Currently in the last year of his rookie contract, the Celtics have until October 31st to sign Bradley to an extension. However should they fail to do so, Bradley will become a restricted free agent once the summer of 2014 commences.
At this point in the offseason there hasn’t been much chatter of a potential contract extension for the former Texas Longhorn and, due to the recent passing of his mother, I don’t expect him to be talking numbers with the Celtics any time soon. After all, would you be negotiating a new contract while simultaneously mourning the loss of a loved one? Absolutely not. And nobody would expect you to.
Bradley is fortunate enough to have already proven himself as a valuable piece throughout his three-year career. As a result, the question isn’t whether or not Bradley gets paid following the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, it’s whether or not the Celtics will be the organization paying him.
Despite dealing with nagging shoulders injuries since entering the Association, Bradley has made a name for himself as a lockdown perimeter defender. With a career defensive rating of 103, Bradley uses both speed and toughness to contain some of the league’s best players and this year should be no different.
But perhaps what makes Bradley so special is his ability to contribute on both ends of the floor. You look at a defensive stalwart like Tony Allen and you immediately recognize that he’s strictly one-dimensional. Bradley on the other hand showed us flashes of a knockdown jumper during the 2011-12 season. The Boston two-guard shot nearly 50 percent from the floor and converted on 40 percent of his three point tries. Unfortunately both of those numbers took a hit last year but I chock that up to Bradley coming off of double shoulder surgery during the summer of 2012.
While it’s unlikely Bradley will be able to sustain those percentages from 2011-12 this upcoming season, I fully expect him to improve upon last year’s marks. And for the first time in his short career, Bradley will be asked to take more shots on a game to game basis due to the loss of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
With his first full, injury-free offseason under his belt heading into this year, expect Bradley to have his best season to date, especially on the offensive end of the floor. His exact role in the offense is uncertain but what we do know for sure is that Bradley will be getting a new pay day at the end of the season.
35.6 MPG, 14.2 PPG, 1.9 SPG, 37% 3-FG