Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
In the fourth year of his rookie pact, Bradley is eligible for an extension before an Oct. 31 deadline, otherwise he will be a restricted free agent next summer. Asked last month about the likelihood of an extension before Halloween, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said nothing was imminent and suggested the team might want to see how Bradley fits into Stevens’ system before crossing that bridge. Preseason returns have been encouraging, but the Celtics must decide if Bradley is one of the cornerstones they’ll build the next iteration of this franchise around.
Ainge admitted this week that he is talking again with Bradley’s camp about a possible extension, but would not elaborate. Indications are that both sides have interest in making a deal; they’ve simply got to find a length and value that works for both sides (and that may be dictated in part by others in the 2009 draft class that are extended before Oct. 31).
Players extended so far have all been big-money deals, whether it was five-year max contracts for John Wall and Paul George; the four-year max for DeMarcus Cousins; or the $45-50 million, four-year pacts for Derrick Favors and Larry Sanders. Bradley would own a $3.6 million qualifying offer from Boston if extended next summer.
What’s his value on the open market? That’s hard to peg because Bradley has battled both injuries and inconsistencies. His defense alone makes him an attractive player, but it’s the cloudiness around his offensive potential that makes it hard to hammer down a value. The 2013-14 season is a chance for Bradley to show that the fireworks we saw at the end of the 2011-12 campaign were not an aberration.
ESPN Boston – Bradley buys into Stevens’ system
This week marks the beginning of the 2013-2014 NBA regular season, on Wednesday the 30th. The very next day on the NBA calendar marks the end of something: the deadline for teams to pick up options for certain players on their roster. While little kids will be trick-or-treating for candy, Avery Bradley, MarShon Brooks, Jordan Crawford and Jared Sullinger will be hoping for something other than a bag of candy: a big bag of cash. No, they won’t need to go door-to-door throughout the greater Boston area to do it, they just need to go to one door, Ainge’s.
As Forsberg notes in his post, Ainge has admitted that discussions of an extension for AB have taken place, though aren’t close to being completed. AB’s case is an interesting one. What exactly do you pay him? He’s proven his value on the court, but (and not necessarily his fault) has yet to prove he can stay on the court consistently. His defense is incredibly valuable, but even now coaches are already asking him to dial it back, in order for him to conserve energy, and foul less. It’s difficult to say what would be a good contract for him, but I’d imagine a similar deal to what Courtney Lee’s is would be sufficient enough.
The main thing with Bradley though isn’t so much determining his contract. No, for Ainge it’s determining if he’s one of the core pieces to remain here for the next true contending team. Either way, he has to be signed to a deal that is friendly for either option: having him here for the long-term while maintaining cap flexibility or keeping his contract in the ‘non-albatrossian’ status. It’s a tough decision, and should be easier than the other ones.
The Celtics have until Thursday to pick up the options on the contracts of Avery Bradley, MarShon Brooks, Jordan Crawford, andJared Sullinger. Crawford is eligible for an extension but will likely be a restricted free agent next summer . . .
At the bottom of Washburn’s Sunday Notes is the note above. Mark Murphy of the Herald also touches on this a little bit as well:
But the Celtics do have two important decisions to make by Thursday. They have until that date to reach agreement with Bradley on an extension. Though both sides have indeed been in negotiations, as of this weekend nothing is imminent.
They also have until Thursday to pick up the option on MarShon Brooks for next season, when the shooting guard would make approximately $2.2 million.
But the former Net is part of a massive shooting guard logjam that also includes Jordan Crawford, Courtney Lee and, when Rondo returns, Bradley. Stevens has also been experimenting at that position.
Brooks has had some nice moments — most notably a 15-point fourth quarter during the Celtics’ Oct. 16 exhibition loss in Toronto. But his defense — never a personal strength — has come as advertised.
Management is still debating whether to pick up his 2014-15 option.
Boston Herald – Bradley sounds like a happy camper
Based on the lack of playing time I’d be surprised if they picked up Brooks’ option although even for one more season next year, it would be a cheap contract to have for a potential trade-filling chip at the least. Brooks can score, but clearly the coaches don’t have much confidence in the rest of his game. As far as Crawford goes, let’s just say I would not shed a tear if they didn’t pick up his option. They have better options here and he could also be a cheap filler in a trade. Jared Sullinger is a no-brainer and as long as he can stay healthy on (and off) the court, he is definitely here for the long term (unless of course he is considered the Al Jefferson chip to the hypothetical new KG trade). Bottom line is that Ainge has some work to do just as the season gets started. Keep in mind that all of these deals, even if they are considered “low money,” factor into next year as well as future seasons. Especially if, as Adrian Wojnarowski points out, that Brad Stevens could have interest in his former Butler player, Gordon Hayward.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – #ChargeWatch: Preseason leaderboard | Boston Globe – Indiana upbringing fostered Brad Stevens’ love of basketball | Boston Herald – Cowens’ rebound | CSNNE – Celtics waive four players | Eagle Tribune – Green takes mantle as Celtics’ go-to guy |