ORLANDO, Fla. — There are still a couple of i's in need of dotting and t's crossed before Avery Bradley's return to the Boston Celtics becomes official.
Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, said the 6-foot-2 guard's new deal with the Green team still has some "final details" to be worked out.
But Ainge makes it clear that it should not be confused with there being a snag that would prevent the deal, reportedly a four-year, $32 million contract, from being consummated soon.
"Avery's a big part of our future," Ainge said. "We have very intention of getting something done with him in the next day or two; just working out the final details."
Bradley's deal was agreed upon on July 2 - one day after teams were allowed to negotiate. That speaks to some degree as to how close both sides were last fall when they had talks about an extension and how eager both sides were to extend this basketball marriage.
The deal Bradley walked away from in the fall was worth $24 million over four seasons, but wasn't believed to be fully guaranteed for the final season.
To his credit, Bradley never seemed to let his uncertain contract status impact his play this past season.
He remained one of the league's best on-the-ball defenders, and improved his offensive game by averaging a career-high 14.9 points per game.
Before, during and after the season, Bradley has been emphatic about wanting to return to Boston with a long-term deal.
This summer, he set up his first basketball camp in the Boston area which isn't what you would expect from a restricted free agent who might be playing in another city.
"I know everything will work out," Bradley said last month from his basketball camp on the UMass-Boston campus. "Obviously I want to be here."
And Ainge has been consistent in his words and actions that Bradley is a player he wants in a Celtics uniform for a long time.
"Avery has already been a big part of us from the day we acquired him," Ainge said. "We have every intention of having him back."