Back in the summer of 2014 — an entirely different NBA economic world — the Boston Celtics locked up Avery Bradley to a four-year, $32 million that if anything was a little rich for the time and was a bet on Bradley’s development.
Today’s economic landscape around an NBA is very different — the leap of the salary cap by $20 million a year likely the next couple summers has changed the dynamics for anyone seeking a deal. Bradley looked at the market and became angry, so he changed agents, reports Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (hat tip Eye on Basketball).
Avery Bradley has changed agents from Mitchell Butler of the Rival Sports Group to Rob Pelinka, who also represents Kobe Bryant. Butler was able to procure the oft-injured Bradley a four-year, $32 million contract extension last summer, considered an above-market deal. Now Bradley is apparently unhappy with his contract, especially after seeing players such as Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton (five years, $70 million), Utah’s Gordon Hayward (four years, $61 million), and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson (five years, $82 million) cash in with lucrative extensions, making Bradley’s deal appear to be a bargain with the new television money increasing the salary cap this summer.
His deal is a bargain, now (in the warped world of professional sports salaries). So are the max deals of guys like DeMarcus Cousins and even Kevin Love — the new television money changes the dynamic of what is a good deal. What was overpaying in 2014 is a steal now — Bradley likely will be making about the mid-level exception (maybe a little less) the next couple years.
He is not the first player to be stunned by the money being thrown around and want a part of it.
Pelinka is a good agent, but he can’t do anything about Bradley’s situation now. Bradley signed a four-year, fully guaranteed deal. Bradley has two full seasons after this one left on his deal (and he doesn’t want to sign an extension, under the current CBA that leads to modest raises at most, which is not what Bradley wants). Patience is the only option.
Like it or not, Bradley is going to have to get by making $17 million over the next two seasons.