Celtics’ Bradley nears deal in Israel

Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley(notes) is nearing a deal to play with Hapoel Jerusalem during the NBA lockout, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

A formal agreement could be reached as soon as this week that would allow Bradley to return to the NBA if the league-imposed lockout ends during Hapoel’s season.

After failing to complete a deal with Memphis Grizzlies guard Greivis Vasquez(notes) last week, Hapoel turned its attention to signing Bradley. For Bradley, a 20-year-old who turned pro after one season at the University of Texas, the chance to play meaningful minutes in the competitive Israel Premier League is a lure.

Bradley played sparingly on the veteran Celtics as a rookie last season, averaging five minutes in 31 games for Boston. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has been extremely high on Bradley’s potential.

Hapoel’s roster includes former NBA guards Luke Jackson(notes) and D.J. Strawberry(notes).

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Updated Sunday, Oct 2, 2011