Will Avery Bradley Step Up Next Year?

One of the few bench players that is not a free agent this offseason is Avery Bradley.  He was hurt in training camp and was mostly only allowed garbage time minutes all year, so it is really hard to gauge any solid evaluation of him.  In those brief glances, we got a general feel for his game without really understanding how much he could contribute in a larger role.

Report card: Avery Bradley - Boston Celtics Blog - ESPN Boston

He came with the tag of being an NBA-ready defender, but it's the offense that needs to continue to develop in order for him to get consistent minutes (and his point guard skills must improve for Boston to have confidence as him being behind Rondo on the depth chart). Bradley seems to have potential to fill that combo-guard role that West thrives in, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see his on-court activity jump up a bit in Year 2.

It isn't like there weren't ample reasons to give him some run last year.  Rondo was banged up all year (in particular in the 2nd half of the year), Delonte was in and out of the lineup with injuries, and the team needed athleticism.  And to top it all off, most coaches (including Doc) preach on and on about how a young player needs to prove they can play defense to get on the court, and that's the one thing that Bradley excels at.  Yet he still didn't see the light of day.  That doesn't bode well.  With that said, Bradley is obviously young and Doc is notoriously slow to trust rookies.

So this next year will be critical.  If the team brings back Delonte, does that mean that they have no confidence in Bradley?  If they can't sign West, does that open the door for Bradley or will the Celtics feel the need to plug that hole with another vet?  Can he pick up more of the point guard duties or is he stuck in a tweener role?

What do you think we'll get out of him next year?  Can he step up into a reserve role or will he be another wasted pick?

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