NEWPORT, R.I. — This time of year, everyone on the Celtics' roster has work to do — whether it's getting shape for the upcoming season, perfecting the mid-range jump shot or hitting the books and studying Doc Rivers' system in and out. Everyone's making improvements.
But for rookie Avery Bradley, who underwent ankle surgery three months ago and hasn't played a lick of basketball since, there's really not much to do in training camp this week.
"Get guys water," Rivers said. "And towels, too. That's about it. I told him don't worry about it. You can see he's itching, trying to get out on the floor, and I told him that would be the exact wrong decision. Because then you get out there and you're playing at half-speed, you can't move, you'll get hurt, and then we'll think you can't play. He needs to get healthy. It's bum luck for him, but he needs to be patient."
Bradley was selected by the Celtics with the No. 19 overall pick in this year's NBA draft. The C's expected to use him off the bench this summer as a key defensive stopper against opposing point guards, but Bradley unexpectedly went under the knife just a week after draft day and has been shut down all summer.
Initially, the hope was for the former Texas Longhorn to make it to camp and ease his way into preseason action this October in preparation for his rookie season. That plan has since been scrapped, and there doesn't appear to be any timetable for Bradley to get out there and play.
"Even once he plays, he's got a lot of guys to beat out," Rivers said. "I just want to see him healthy. I do think he's a good player. I think he'll be on the floor. I don't know if it'll be this year with this group, but it may be. He needs to play basketball."
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