COMMENTARY | The Boston Celtics have joined a growing list of NBA teams that have chosen to pass on negotiating a contract for a player from the 2010 NBA draft class.
The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn reported via Twitter on Friday that Celtics guard Avery Bradley, 22, has not signed an extension for the 2014-2015 season and is set to become a restricted free agent when the season ends.
Bradley averaged 9.2 points per game, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals and shot .402 from the field in 2012-2013. In his one game played this season, Bradley tallied 4 assists, 5 rebounds, 8 points and made 4-of-13 shot attempts in a 93-87 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
Bradley, who was drafted 19th overall in the 2010 NBA draft out f the University of Texas-Austin, has been one of the most intriguing young players on Boston's roster over the past two seasons.
Avery Bradley is widely considered to be one of the best perimeter defenders in the game today, but his lack of consistency on offense has been a major detriment to the team, especially against strong opponents.
In 2012-2013, Bradley averaged a field-goal percentage of .346 against the Indiana Pacers, .222 against the Houston Rockets, .250 against the Los Angeles Clippers, .321 against the Miami Heat and .353 against the New York Knicks.
Because Bradley is only 22 years old, many NBA scouts and front offices will likely be willing to spend big dollars to take a chance on him, a problem that could greatly expand should Bradley have an impressive 2013-2014 campaign.
This puts president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is a very difficult spot. If Ainge is not willing to commit to Bradley at a high price, which currently appears to be the case, then it is hard to imagine the Celtics matching a bloated offer sheet from another NBA team in restricted free agency at the end of the season.
However, because Boston is in a complete rebuilding mode at this point, how can the team just walk away from an exceptionally talented young perimeter player like Bradley? What if Rajon Rondo is traded or decides to leave when his contract ends at the end of the 2014-2015 season?
Bradley is the perfect fallback plan for Ainge and the Celtics, but if another team is willing to overpay for him, it is likely the front office will choose to keep the additional cap space instead of the talented defensive guard who can't seem to find a rhythm on offense.
Don't agree with me? Tell me why I am wrong on Twitter @THATCelticsGuy.
Justin Haskins is a New England native and a freelance journalist. He has been obsessively following Boston professional sports for 10 years and has been published in numerous online publications and websites.
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