Like a car with damage, Avery Bradley needs work. His point guard skills require polish. His jumper demands refinement. His confidence begs for a boost. He could use training camp desperately, but for the second straight year, Bradley will likely miss out on the opportunity. Well, that is, unless he experiences training camp in Europe.
Bradley’s agent, Mitchell Butler, said there are a lot of European teams who have expressed interest in the Celtics youngster. If and when the right opportunity comes, Bradley will consider it. (Boston Globe)
“Him missing training camp, and the [injury] situation last year, really put him behind the eight ball,’’ Butler said. “The Celtics really loved the fact that his learning curve was high. Being on a team that experienced, it was hard for him to crack the lineup, so I think that ultimately if it’s the right situation, the money’s decent, and it’s a great place, then [playing overseas is] something that I will have a serious conversation with him about.’’ …
“I would like to put him in a structured situation, as well,’’ Butler said. “Being coached, having to run a team. And that could present itself in a situation in Europe. We’ve got a lot of teams that are interested, [but we need to be cautious] from a standpoint of making sure the money is right because he may end up being there the whole year. This [lockout] may go an entire season.’’
Players Union president Billy Hunter acknowledged that not every NBA player will be afforded the chance to play overseas. “There will be a few players on the high end and a few on the low end that go,” he told the New York Times. Guess which end Bradley falls into? (Hint: it’s not the high end.)
But Europe could be good for Bradley. Better, it would seem, than what he’s doing in his hometown, Seattle. Bradley has been working out this summer with a crew of shot-happy, unorthodox point guards from the Seattle area. Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Aaron Brooks — not the players you want your young point guard learning from, especially when said young point guard’s most crucial flaw is his lack of point guard skills. I can picture Bradley trying to be a sponge around his colleagues:
“So what should I do on a three-on-one fast break?” he asks.
“Pull up for a three-pointer, no doubt,” replies Robinson. “Three beats two.”
“Try three successive crossovers, then shoot a fadeaway with a hand in your face,” explains Crawford.
“I was a rising star just two years ago,” Brooks reminisces.
Then, in the spirit of Happy Gilmore, Lee Trevino arrives out of nowhere and shakes his head in disgust.
The more I think about Bradley’s training sessions with the motley Seattle crew, the more I believe he would benefit from a year in Europe.