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2017-2018 Clippers Exit Interviews: Avery Bradley

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Avery Bradley only played six games for the Clippers due to injury. Will he be back next year?

Los Angeles Clippers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Name: Avery Bradley

Age: 27

Years in NBA: 7

Key Stats: Avery Bradley averaged 27.5 minutes in 6 games with the Clippers, all of which he started; he averaged 9.2 points per game on 47.3% shooting from the field. He shot 11.1% from three, although only attempted 9 in his 6 games.

2017-2018 Salary: $8,808,989

Future Contract Status: Avery Bradley is an Unrestricted Free Agent this summer

Season Summary:

Avery Bradley’s season ended prematurely after undergoing surgery to repair his adductor muscle. Prior to being traded to the Clippers in the Blake Griffin deal, Bradley played, and started, in 40 games, averaging an ambitious 31.7 minutes per game. In those 40 games, he averaged 15 points, about 6 more points than the few games he played with the Clippers, but was a less efficient 40.9% from the field.

Others are better than I at picking the appropriate defensive stats to use while communicating a player’s defensive ability, so I’ll leave that to them. Regardless, I know that he was good — at least he was with the Clippers. Bradley’s instant impact on the Clippers was his ability to pick up the other team’s best perimeter player, which the Clippers certainly needed help with given Lou Williams and Milos’ more offensive minded playing styles.

Bradley’s season ending surgery did not completely close the Clippers’ playoff window, but it certainly didn’t help. While CJ Williams and Ty Wallace were forced to mull around in the G-League until the end of Agua Caliente Clippers’ season, Avery was a great filler to help the injury ridden Clippers’ roster. Alas, he could not stay healthy, and the appropriate business decision was to get patched up before his contract ended at the end of the year.

Strengths:

As I stated above, Bradley’s defense is what keeps him in the league as a starter (or at least a rotation guy). He is quick and technically sound as a defender, which is how he is able to make up for his relatively small 6’2” frame.

This is why, before he got injured, the Clippers were getting calls about Avery’s availability at the trade deadline. One can imagine a situation in which the Spurs, or some other team, were willing to give up a pick to shore up their playoff roster with an elite defender.

Weaknesses:

Scoring efficiently is definitely the biggest weakness in Bradley’s game. He’s only a 43.9% shooter over his career, achieving over 47% only once. His mediocre outside shooting (36.6% from three over his career) is confounded by the fact that he often finds himself shooting from about 20 feet out — a very long two point shot, which is the most inefficient shot in the game. Another weakness of Bradley’s is that he’s not a good playmaker or creator for others at either guard position. He just can’t create offense for anyone but himself.

Aside from shooting/ scoring, I suppose it would be fair to say that health is a weakness, at this moment. Avery’s asking price will likely take a dip as teams looking to add a guard are cautious with a player who just had season-ending surgery.

Future with Clippers:

Doc Rivers is still the coach of the Clippers, which means former Celtic might still be common targets on the Clippers’ radar (unfortunately). But, ultimately, I do not see Jerry West and Frank Lawrence trying to sign Avery Bradley unless his asking price gets very low and there isn’t an expectation for a long-term deal.

With the signing of C.J. Williams, however, the Clippers will be looking for one fewer two-guard. Likewise with the return of Patrick Beverley, who provides the same level of defense (and then some) as Bradley, which makes Avery less attractive as a signing. I would not expect him back with the Clippers next year.