Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Ainge: 'Nothing imminent' on Bradley extension
By Chris Forsberg
MILTON, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics have until Oct. 31 to work out a contract extension with 2010 first-round pick Avery Bradley, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Tuesday that nothing is imminent and that the sides will likely wait until after the season to revisit.
"We may talk in October, but most likely next summer," said Ainge.
In recent weeks, John Wall, Larry Sanders, Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins have all worked out extensions ahead of the Halloween buzzer. Bradley, the 19th overall pick in 2010, is set to earn $2.5 million in the fourth year of his rookie pact, but would be a restricted free agent if Boston extends a $3.6 million qualifying offer. That could put Boston at risk of having a deep-pocketed bidder steal away their defensive ace.
The Celtics must decide if Bradley is a player they envision building around -- and at what price. Ainge hinted that this season is important for Bradley to show how he blends in new coach Brad Stevens' system and pairs in the backcourt with Rajon Rondo. At the start of the 2013-14 campaign, it's likely that Bradley will serve as point guard while Rondo rehabs from ACL surgery, but Stevens offered high praise for Bradley.
"Avery is a guy I really believe in," said Stevens. "I think Avery has a lot of opportunity to be a very, very good player on both ends of the floor. I don’t know exactly how we’ll progress from here, as far as that goes with regard to if Rajon is in, who’s in what role, but I know Avery will be on the court. I think he’s a guy that, when you look at him on both ends of the floor, he’s a guy that I think we can fit in well offensively at the point guard spot. I think he’s really excited about playing it. And then, defensively, he can be elite. And so you’ve got one whole end of the floor where you’ve got an elite guy at the position and you’ve got to best figure out how to put him in a position to be successful."
Ainge said he recently trekked to Bradley's native Tacoma to attend the funeral for his mother, Alicia, who passed away at the age of 46 earlier this month. While noting that Bradley, "seems to be doing better" emotionally, Ainge also noted that Bradley and his girlfriend welcomed their first child, Avery Bradley III, on Tuesday morning. Said Ainge: "So AB3 we’ll call him. And everybody’s doing well from what I’ve heard."