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.
At first glance, the numbers on Avery Bradley’s new contract with the Celtics may seem a bit high. But the decision to lock him up may not have been simply about pure numbers — even though their validity is supported by the market.
The Celts and their restricted free agent agreed on a four-year pact that will net him a total of $32 million, and, according to league sources, it is a straight-up deal that will begin in the low $7 million range and rise to nearly $9 million by the 2017-18 season. There are no player options or incentives.
In terms of the money alone, sources told the Herald that at least one other team was prepared to offer more and might have already done so (Philadelphia was known to have interest in Bradley, but it could not be confirmed as that team). Perhaps more importantly, the other bids coming his way would have contained clauses designed to dissuade the Celts from meeting the terms.
Thank you, Steve Bulpett.
While some media members are ranting and throwing tantrums over Avery Bradley’s new contract, Bulpett offers a rational, informed opinion on why the deal makes sense.
For starters, there was competition for Bradley’s services. Danny Ainge views Avery as a core player and so do others around the league:
“I love the kid,” one NBA coach said. “You can try to pick apart this or that, but all I know is when he’s on the floor, he makes plays. He’s a relentless defender, and he moves really well without the ball. You can’t talk about his shooting without talking about his cutting and what that does for their offense when (Rajon) Rondo wants to move the ball.
“You’ve got to look at the bigger picture with (Bradley). He had that one bad shooting year, but he was coming off shoulder surgery.”
And whether you like the contract number or not, it’s market value. Jodie Meeks is getting $6 million AAV. Ben Gordon – a 31 year old guard who shot 34% in 19 games last season – signed for a guaranteed $4.5 million in Orlando. Gordon Hayward is on the verge of a max contract – $14 million AAV.
This contract isn’t going to cost the Celtics a shot at any future big name free agent. It fills a slot on the roster.
On Page 2, the Clippers and Nets are negotiating a trade for Paul Pierce.
And while the Clippers could simply sign Pierce as a free agent using their midlevel exception at $5.3 million, they are interested in pursuing sign-and-trade scenarios that would allow Brooklyn to get something in return for the 10-time All-Star and because the Clippers already have so many small forwards.
Because Brooklyn holds his Bird rights, a sign-and-trade also would allow Pierce — who made $15.3 million last season — to sign for more than the midlevel exception.
Poor KG. He’s going to be all alone in Brooklyn on that mess of a team.
And finally, James Young takes in his first game at Fenway.
— Jimmy Bucks (@realjamesyoung) July 3, 2014
Apologies to James for having to watch the miserable Red Sox.
The rest of the links: