What is this I am hearing? Avery Bradley wants to play this week? No, that can’t be right…
Well, according to multiple sources, Bradley says he is looking to return to the Boston Celtics this friday night. I am waiting to read something about how coach Brad Stevens says “Bradley just needs more time to get to game speed.” Or maybe Danny Ainge coming out and saying, “Avery just needs to get healthy to he can have a strong April.”
Odds are neither of those reports are going to come out and Bradley will be starting by the end of this week, or the start of next week. But why should he come back? I don’t see one good reason why Bradley should be on the court in March. Ainge has experience with this already! He sat Paul Pierce 20 extra games, and there was never even a threat that he was going to come back. It didn’t lead to the first overall pick, but it was the best chance the C’s had at it since the Tim Duncan draft.
The Celtics may be in striking distance of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, but who cares? If Bradley comes back, then the likes of Chris Johnson and Chris Babb won’t be supplying useless minutes on the floor that the team desperately needs in its tanking state. Bradley and Rajon Rondo play so well together that the team could steal a few wins down the stretch that may bump them out of that top four or five draft pick zone. That would be a travesty!
I love Bradley for his persistence and his desire to play hard every night, but there are times when doing nothing is the best thing he can possibly do. Is his contract up at the end of the year? Well yes, but the Celtics are going to match any offer made to him, and I would be shocked if he didn’t just take the qualifying offer the C’s are going to make him anyway.
All I ask is that this week Avery, you take a second to think about what coming back to the court could mean for THIS year’s Celtics team. Your lines of 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, are too vital to this club. I would love to see them again next year, playing alongside Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. Otherwise, it may be Marcus Smart alongside Rondo, which should be Bradley’s biggest fear.