Avery Bradley is no stranger to waiting. On draft night a couple years ago he waited until the 19th pick before being selected by the Celtics. His rookie year was one long seat on the extra cushy chairs they have set out for the players and coaches. He finally got his break last year but a couple of shoulder injuries ended it before he could take a crack at defending Wade and the Heat So again he had to sit and wait.
When training camp begins, he will still be waiting. In fact, chances are good that he'll be waiting until sometime in December before getting back on the court. That has to be a frustrating process. I mean, maybe as a rookie you can understand that you've got to wait your turn. But now that he's tasted success, I'm sure that all he wants to do is get out there and do it again and keep getting better.
Thankfully he's got a great coaching staff and some pretty amazing teammates to support him. If you missed this story about Kevin Garnett's encouraging words to him - go check it out now.
Regardless, it sounds like all that waiting has taught him a great deal of patience. And it helps that he seems to have a great head on his shoulders. The team hasn't been shy about bringing in guys that play his position, but that doesn't phase Avery. He's just ready to play.
"I'm just ready to do whatever my team needs me to do," said Bradley. "I'm just going to be prepared and ready to go out there and do my role, and do whatever my team needs me to do to win games...
"I think [the offseason moves are] great. I think it's great for our team. We have some good players -- Courtney Lee, Jason Terry... it's just exciting to see what [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge has] done with the team. I just can't wait for the season to start."
Doc has indicated that Lee will begin the season as the starter, but made sure to say "we'll see" when Bradley comes back. I think Bradley has done enough to earn the starting job, but I also don't think bringing him off the bench (assuming Lee performs well enough in a starting role) should count as a demotion. He's going to play once he's healthy and he's going to be a great asset to the team.
It is all about matchups and Doc's mixing and matching of lineups. It may take half the season or more to find just the right balance for both offensive and defensive purposes. But one thing is for sure, no matter how long it takes, Bradley is going to be ready when his number is called. If there's one thing he can do, its wait.