Philadelphia 76ers place call to Avery Bradley
Less than one hour into the start of free agency, Yahoo's Marc Spears reported that the Philadelphia 76ers had already fielded a call to Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley:
Celtics free agent guard Avery Bradley has received calls from Boston and Philadelphia since free agency arrived, a source told Yahoo.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 1, 2014
Note that the Celtics also picked up the phone to call Bradley immediately at the start of his restricted free agency, which is an indicator that Boston probably wants to keep the defensive expert. The Celtics offered Bradley a $3.58 million qualifying offer on Saturday, which seems a bit low for his services, and could possibly have to match between 7 and 9 million dollar offers from other teams should they want to retain his services. Bradley said on Monday that he hopes to stay in Boston: "Obviously, I want to be here. And I let those guy know that. When the time comes, we’ll just see what happens, and see if we come to an agreement."
Since the NBA draft last week, there has been a bit of buzz around Bradley's future, and whether there is still a need for him after drafting Marcus Smart and James Young. No numbers have been reported yet on a potential offer from Philly, but if the 76ers and other teams start offering ridiculously high numbers, the Celtics might have to let him walk (although I don't believe they want to, despite his injury tendencies).
After the draft, many thought that the 76ers were going to keep the tank running next season (as draftee Joel Embid will likely miss most of next season, similar to Philly's 2013 draftee Nerlens Noel missing his entire rookie season due to injury). So why bring in some new talent if they are going to tank? Celtics Life writer Mike Dyer jokingly offered a possible explanation: "They probably found out he needs some kind of surgery that will keep him out next year and got interested." And it looks like Peter Vecsey shared the same line of thought:
If it's true the 76ers have reached out to Avery Bradley, it must mean he's got a season-ending injury...
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) July 1, 2014
Hopefully Avery Bradley has seen the worst of his injury woes and will stay with Boston at an affordable rate, and continue making his defensive presence known for the C's. But free agency just started and anything is possible.
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Photo: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports