Avery Bradley needs to be re-signed before the October 31st extension deadline
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According to ESPN Boston the short period of time Brad Stevens has been with the Celtics has had a profound effect on Avery Bradley. As Chris Forsberg reported:
Bradley quickly redirects individual praise to his teammates, rarely putting himself in the spotlight. When he does talk about his progress, he expresses a desire to simply be the best teammate possible. Bradley acknowledges that the Celtics will make mistakes this season, but stresses that the team simply wants to take steps forward each time it steps on the floor.
Although, many Celtic fans will and have been disappointed by Bradley's early returns at point guard Stevens' willingness to continue to play Avery out of his comfort zone will pay great long term dividends.
For one, his handle can only keep improving making him much more dangerous of the bounce once Rajon Rondo returns as he is already one of the best off the ball cutters in the league.
Not to mention, the fact that he is sometimes being asked to guard players with greater length such as Paul George away from the ball will only make someone who is already one of the best defenders in the league more versatile on that end of the floor.
Finally, a players' basketball IQ and passing ability, for the most part, improve exponentially having seen the game through a point guards' eyes.
Kelly Olynyk, who played point up until his junior year of high school when he had a seven inch growth spurt from 6'3" to 6'10" is a testament to that.
These are all very big reasons The Celtics need to get an extension done with Avery before the October 31st deadline.
Yes, he's had some injuries and been somewhat erratic playing out of is natural position but once again that experience will benefit him and The Celtics in the long run.
Furthermore, The C's also need someone to take over the defensive leadership role vacated by the great Kevin Garnett and Bradley's the perfect heir to this throne considering his age, history with the team and where The Celts are as an organization.
Per usual, however, Danny Ainge has been cryptic with regards to The Celtics' front office plans for the fourth year guard out of Texas:
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.
On that point, with regards to Stevens' system, the statistic that really sticks out for me is the fact that Bradley shot 43.8 percent behind the three point line for the preseason.
With Stevens mind for basketball analytics, and his plan for utilization of the three ball throughout his NBA coaching career, this should be a number he and anyone else who loves The Celtics should be salivating at and want Avery Bradley to become a Celtic for years to come.