This has been a tough way for Avery Bradley to hit free agency.
Still one of the best on-ball defenders in the game, he struggled on the offensive end in Detroit, was traded to the Clippers more as an expiring contract than as a player Los Angeles needed, then he struggled with the Clippers for six games before suffering a sports hernia injury.
Now we learn Bradley is done for the season due to surgery to repair that hernia, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
LA Clippers guard Avery Bradley underwent surgery to repair adductor and rectus abdominis muscles on Tuesday and will likely miss the rest of the regular season, league sources told ESPN.
Six weeks to eight weeks is the recovery time for the surgery, which would mean the Clippers would need to make the postseason for Bradley to have a chance to return this season.
Actually, the Clippers would have to advance to the second round for Bradley to have a chance to return. Los Angeles is currently the seven seed in a very tight West, but even if they make the postseason the odds of making the second round are long.
Bradley knew from the start he might need surgery, but was hoping that rest and strengthening the muscles around it would mean he could continue playing (and raise his value heading into free agency). That was not the case.
Bradley will draw interest as a free agent this summer because he is a guy defensively you can put on the league’s best perimeter players and he will slow them down. However, he’s not as strong off the ball, and teams have become adept at switching him off the ball handler onto bigs, who he struggles to defend. On the other end of the court Bradley is not efficient — he has a true shooting percentage of 49.6 and while he can hit threes (career 36.6 percent) he doesn’t take many of them, and he takes too many long twos. Teams also will factor in the report Bradley paid to silence a sexual-assault accuser.
In what will be a tight free agent market, and after a rough season, Bradley may not find the deal he hoped for this summer. That said, a lot of teams could use his defense.