Avery Bradley is entering the last season before he becomes eligible for restricted free agency in 2014. The Celtics only have a little more than a month left before they would need to table contract extension talks until next summer, and the team sounds content to wait.
Bradley and the Celtics will “most likely” wait until after the season to have substantive negotiations, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday morning. The most Ainge would say will happen until next summer is that Bradley’s representatives and the team “may talk” in October.
The negotiation window closes on Oct. 31 and cannot be reopened until the season ends.
Head coach Brad Stevens, speaking after Ainge, said he foresees a major role for Bradley as a ballhandler this season while Rajon Rondo recovers from his ACL injury.
“Avery is a guy I really believe in,” Stevens said. “I think Avery has a lot of opportunity to be a very, very good player on both ends of the floor. I don’t know exactly how we’ll progress from here, as far as that goes with regard to if Rajon is in, who’s in what role, but I know Avery will be on the court.”
Bradley struggled as the Celtics’ primary ballhandler last season after Rondo’s injury. It seeped over to the defensive end in the playoffs, when Knicks guard Raymond Felton became the rare ballhandler to consistently beat Bradley off the dribble and out of the pick and roll.
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