Bradley, Celtics not close on extension

Bradley, Celtics not close on extension
September 24, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Avery Bradley and the Celtics have had talks about an extension, Danny Ainge said.

(AP Photo)

MILTON, Mass. — Avery Bradley's future with the Boston Celtics is not in question right now. But that could change next summer when the C's guard in all likelihood becomes a restricted free agent.

The Celtics and Bradley can come to an agreement on a contract extension by October 31, but that isn't expected to happen.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, said that he and Bradley's representatives will likely have some discussions about an extension next month. But Ainge doesn't anticipate a new deal for the 6-foot-2 guard who last season was named to the NBA's All-Defensive second team.

"There's nothing imminent there," Ainge said. "We may talk in October, but most likely next summer."

The decision to put off working out a new deal for Bradley has nothing to do with the team's confidence in him as a player.

It has more to do with the C's simply wanting to have as much flexibility as they can salary-wise, for as long as they can.

Bradley has been in Boston most of the summer, but has since returned to Tacoma, Washington following the death of his mother, Alicia "Lisa" Jones, who was 46 years old.

Ainge attended Jones' funeral last month.

"He seems to be doing better," Ainge said.

Bradley, who was very close to his mother, welcomed into the world on Tuesday his first child, Avery Bradley III.

"So AB III we'll call him," quipped Ainge who added, "Everybody is doing well."

While the possibility still remains that Bradley could miss the start of training camp, all indications for now point toward him being with the Celtics when camp starts in Newport, R.I. next week.

And while there will be plenty of competition for minutes, Bradley seems to have established himself as key player for the C's in the eyes of new coach Brad Stevens.

"Avery's a guy I really believe in," Stevens said. "Avery has a lot of opportunity to be a very, very good player on both ends of the floor."

Boston's point guard situation is in a bit of influx with Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL) not expected to be ready to start the season.

A handful of players will be looked upon to play the position, including Bradley. It remains to be seen how much time Bradley will see at the point, but Stevens said, "I know Avery will be on the court."

Stevens added: "He's a guy that when you look at him at both ends of the court, he's a guy that we can fit in well offensively at the point guard spot. And defensively, he can be elite. You got one whole end of the floor, where we have an elite guy at a position. You gotta figure out the best position to put him in to be successful."

But it remains to be seen if Bradley's success in Boston will extend beyond this upcoming season.

Well aware of impending free agency status, Bradley said earlier this summer that it wasn't something he was giving too much thought.

"I really don't focus on that," Bradley said. "I just focus on winning games, doing what I can do for my team. I can't wait for the season start . . . I can't wait until training camp."