According to Rafael Uehara — a “managing figure of The Basketball Post, contributor at EuroLeague Adventures and unemployed dude,” according to his Twitter page — Avery Bradley will soon be released from Hapoel Jerusalem of Israel. (via Red’s Army)
I don’t know whether this report is accurate. After all, Uehara is just some “unemployed dude” making comments on Twitter. But it would make sense.
Bradley has played one game for Hapoel Jerusalem, notching 25 minutes but contributing only seven points (on 1-6 shooting), zero assists, one rebound, two steals and four turnovers. He’s probably making more money than most players on the team, considering his NBA status, and he just shot a blank in game one. Many overseas teams are famous for their lack of patience, but really, the point is this: Hapoel Jerusalem can pay Avery Bradley big money, and he may or may not deserve it. Or they can cut him and sign someone else to a far more manageable deal, and probably get very similar production.
NBA players heading overseas are seeing this: the back end NBA players are entirely replaceable. Trade Avery Bradley, Sasha Pavlovic, Carlos Arroyo, Troy Murphy, Luke Harangody and Semih Erden for six of the top D-League players and there would hardly be any difference. Trade them for six of the top Spanish players and you’d probably improve the Celtics. Just being from the NBA doesn’t mean anything once you get overseas.
I spoke to Josh Jones this weekend, a very talented former Division III player (Husson) trying out for the Springfield Armor.
Asked whether it was difficult for him to adjust to competing against Division I talent, he said, “At first it was intimidating. But then I realized we’re all grown men out here. It doesn’t matter where we went to college. It doesn’t matter what team we played for last. It’s all about who can play.”
Avery Bradley and other NBAers overseas are starting to learn the same lesson. True, they can all play. But compared to replacement players of similar value, some NBAers just aren’t worth the money.