Avery Bradley’s restricted free agency status is just one of many questions the Celtics will be facing this offseason. It’s been an ongoing debate all season long and there might be a conclusion in the near future. Bradley’s next contract will be a interesting one indeed as many factors in his young career will determine how much money he will make and if he will be part of the Celtics’ future. According to a report from the Boston Herald, the Celtics will not be offering as big of a contract as they did before the season began. The Celtics offered Avery Bradley a 4-year $24 million contract extension back in October, but Bradley’s party turned down the offer. Instead, Avery Bradley and his agent came to an agreement that they feel Bradley’s value is around $8 million per year and that could be a contract to rich for Boston’s blood. Assuming that everybody stays, the $8 million per year contract will make Avery Bradley the fourth highest paid player on the Celtics.
That’s just one problem in Bradley’s case. The second problem is that there are a lot of talented shooting guards that are locked up on long term contracts for their respective teams. Tony Allen (4 years, $20 million), Gerald Henderson (3 years, $18 million), Kyle Korver (4 years, $24 million), Kevin Martin (4 years, $28 million), J.J. Redick ( 4 years, $28 million), O.J. Mayo (3 years, $24 million) and Monta Ellis (3 years, $25 million). That’s just to name a few and that’s already a quarter of the league out of the running for Avery Bradley’s services.
There are a lot of good reasons to hold onto Avery Bradley for the future. One huge positive aspect is that he is already a four year veteran and he is only 23 years old with so much potential. He is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league and that doesn’t grow on trees. He also averaged career highs in points per game (14.9) and shot 45 percent on the season. Bradley also shot 39.5 percent from 3-point range as well. His chemistry playing alongside Rajon Rondo has always been very positive and that is something that shouldn’t be broken apart.
I personally would love to see Avery Bradley dawn a Celtics uniform once again next season, but I’m not Danny Ainge and I can’t get my hopes up too high that he will return along with other players’ futures in limbo. I can feel strongly confident that Ainge will keep an eye on how big the market for Avery Bradley will be in free agency and try to match the offer if it’s reasonable enough. I don’t think that Ainge will draw first blood on a contract offer other than the qualifying offer for the right to match other offers on the market.
Regardless if Avery Bradley is still a Celtic next season, he might have shot down the best contract that was offered to him in his young career.