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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Four More Years of Waiting for Avery Bradley to Rehab His Various Injuries, Awesome

NBA free agency opened yesterday at midnight but the rebuilding Celtics didn't make any moves until this morning: they re-signed guard Avery Bradley to a four-year deal worth $32 million (a slight improvement from the $3.58 million he was going to make in 2014-15). As always with professional contracts, it's not my money or your money so really does it matter? Still, it is easy to question both the length and amount of money for a guy that has missed considerable time in all four of his NBA seasons.

Bradley is still very young (turning 24 in November) and he's coming off by far the best year of his career: 14.9 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 1.1 steals per game, 80% on free throws, 44% from the field and 40% on 3-pointers. Coming out of Texas after one year, he was a terrible shooter but I'll give him credit that he's really improved that along with his overall offensive game. He's been an excellent defender from day one.

The troubling number for him (and I would always argue that it's the most important) is games played: he played 31 in his rookie season (2010-11), 64 the next season, 50 in 2012-13 and 60 last season. Looking at all his various injuries is like playing a game of operation: both shoulders and ankles. The scary part is that with the physical way he plays, particularly on defense, I don't see how magically one day he'll stop picking up injuries at this alarming rate.

The other part about this and perhaps the most relevant to the bigger picture with the Celts is how does it affect Rajon Rondo? Boston drafted guards Marcus Smart and James Young last week then reportedly pursued Isaiah Thomas when free agency opened. Danny Ainge has talked about three or four guard lineups but honestly, what planet does he live on? Don't give us that crap. All indications are that Rondo is going to be traded which is the preferred route rather than simply letting him walk in free agency next summer.

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