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The 2014 NBA free agency period should be a very busy time for the Boston Celtics, with many questions looming. Questions such as: who are the C’s going to re-sign? Who are the C’s going to let go? Who are the C’s going to trade or acquire? The first one of these questions they answered was the one about Avery Bradley’s future. According to reports, the guard has agreed to a four-year extension worth $32 million. The deal has not been made official yet, but is expected to become official any day now.
Bradley is not even 24 years old, and he is already considered one of the premier on-the-ball defenders in the NBA. Many of the league’s best players now are coming from the shooting guard position, and that is the position Bradley defends night in and night out. His ability to take out the opposing team’s best offensive player is a unique skill that only a few NBA players possess, including former Celtic Tony Allen and 2014 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.
Bradley has also shown major improvement on the offensive end, as he averaged a career-high 14.9 points per game last season. He improved his outside shooting, going from 31.5 percent from beyond the three-point line two years ago, to 39.5 percent in 2013-14. Bradley has shown growth offensively, but he still has a ways to go.
Bradley must improve upon his ability to create for himself and for his teammates. His assist-to-turnover ratio is a perfect example of that, as he averaged 1.4 assists and 1.6 turnovers per game last season. The biggest concern when it comes to Bradley is his health. Since his rookie season (2010-11), the most games he’s played in a season was 64 in 2011-12, and he has already undergone double shoulder surgery.
So, is eight million dollars per year too much for a young injury-prone player? The answer, in Bradley’s case, is no. Bradley has shown major improvement on the offensive side of the ball, while his defense is graded as an A. If Bradley can further catch up his offensive production to his defensive ability, eight million a year will be a steal for one of the most complete players in the NBA.