When the Pistons traded for Avery Bradley last summer, there were questions whether they could afford him in unrestricted free agency next summer.
It’s looking far less likely Bradley will receive that major payday.
Bradley struggled with Detroit and has struggled with the Clippers since being included in the Blake Griffin trade (as much, if not more, for his expiring contract than his playing ability). A report emerged Bradley paid to silence a sexual-assault accuser. And he has missed L.A.’s last four games with a sports hernia injury.
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:
Bradley also said that surgery is a possibility, and that it could happen before the season is over.
But Bradley said ideally he wants to play this season.
“We’re just … ing it day by day and trying to strengthen up all the muscles around the injury,” Bradley said. “After that, we’re going to make the best decision, if that’s me playing or me getting surgery.”
“I think it was one of those things where me sitting, I was able to see that, thinking rest would make it better. But it made it worse,” Bradley said.
This cuts both ways. Bradley might lose a chance to redeem himself ahead of free agency, but rushing back could mean playing even worse or even exacerbating the injury.
Rest making the injury worse sounds like a major red flag.
The 27-year-old Bradley remains a tenacious perimeter defender, but teams are better taking advantage of his limitations switching onto bigger players. He’s also a notably poor defensive rebounders. And he takes and misses far too many long 2s to the point it’s destructive to his team’s offense.
Trying to sneak into the playoffs, the Clippers might be better off without Bradley the rest of the season. They have Lou Williams and Austin Rivers at shooting guard, though Rivers is also needed at point guard.
Both the Clippers and Bradley can both hope he returns to form this season and sets himself up to get paid this summer. But this injury is yet another obstacle to that happening.