October 31st marks a somewhat important date for Avery Bradley. The chance for a contract extension beyond the 2013-14 season closes once November 1st arrives. What does it say if Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics brass decide to let Bradley finish out his rookie contract? It could mean a lot of things, it could mean that the Celtics are still not sure he's worth investing a lot of money in. At this point he would demand some decent money due to his elite skill as a defender and also the fact that he seems to be entering this season on a high note.
CSN New England released a report that the Celtics and Bradley seem content playing out this season before entering into contract talks.
Could Bradley's value on the trade market appreciate due to his contract expiring after this season? It is quite possible, and we have a few reasons why Bradley could potentially help the Celtics' rebuild by being a bargaining chip for some other pieces that might help bring the next banner to Boston.
Firstly, Bradley might have the most elite talent of any Boston Celtic on the roster, including Rajon Rondo. His defense is starting to get noticed more around the league. That defensive tenacity could be coveted by some teams in the playoff race or seeking to make the leap into a real threat to the Miami Heat throne. Imagine the Indiana Pacers trotting out Paul George and Avery Bradley to defend Dwayne Wade and LeBron James. It would be intriguing to say the least (sadly, the numbers and players would be tough to deal).
Also, if Bradley's offense turns a corner this season and he proves that he can manage a decent scoring load (10-12 points per game) it would also make him a more viable trade chip. With the three-point shot gaining more and more popularity, Bradley could make some more money if he can find his way back to shooting like he did in 2012 when he was 40.7% from behind the arc.
With Rondo's injury Bradley will have the opportunity to prove he can also play two positions. His shooting guard role seems more natural. His skills with the ball have been questioned, especially in the playoffs last season when the Celtics struggled to get into the offense early in the shot-clock when Bradley was in charge.
Bradley's value could go up during the season, his biggest hurdle will be staying on the court for 82 games. His career has been hampered by injuries and underachievement (Bradley was the top high school prospect his senior year). Now, after a summer of rehab and strength training, he believes he is ready. Now is his chance to earn a big contract and also potentially play his way back onto a contender, or be a part of the rebuilding process for the Celtics.
It's all ahead of him.
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