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Ainge: "Avery is a big part of our future"

With the October 30th deadline to pick up options on rookie scale contracts looming, Danny Ainge announced today that the Celtics have extended Jared Sullinger, opted out of Jordan Crawford's and Marshon Brooks' additional years, and more importantly, still negotiating with Avery Bradley on an extension.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

All the moves make sense.  When Sullinger fell to #21 in the draft, the Celtics didn't have to pay lottery talent money and the team options for next year and the year after that are only $1.4M and $2.3M.  It's a no brainer.  Brooks barely cracked the preseason lineup and the team option for 2014 is nearly double his salary this year.  It's a little bit of a gamble because he might suddenly mature this season and command a bigger contract going into free agency, but with the log jam at shooting guard and two picks in next year's draft, odds are, MarShon will be gone at some point.  With Crawford, Boston still has the opportunity to extend him a qualifying offer next summer, so he'll have to prove his worth this year.

Avery is in the same boat as Steez, but it's clear that Ainge is more confident in Bradley's future with the Celtics.  There's probably a low ball offer on the table (think Kendrick Perkins in 2011) that won't be signed by Halloween and that's OK.  By next summer, Kris Humphries' albatross deal will be off the books, Ainge will decline the option on Keith Bogans, and the Celtics will be comfortably under the cap to re-sign AB.  Check out SBNation's Kevin Zimmerman on how the "Extension Arbitrator" values Avery Bradley:

Boston likes Avery Bradley. He plays hard, changes games with his defensive pressure and doesn't have many significant weaknesses other than his jumper. Most importantly, Bradley is a winner. The questions, however, revolves around whether Bradley is much more than a defensive stopper. The 22-year-old is still learning the point guard position and will need to play with the same confidence on offense as he does on defense.

Market-wise, Bradley's lack of superstar potential -- that's based purely from the offensive production -- holds him back.


$6 million a year is a fair number.  It's a shade over what Courtney Lee signed to when he was intended to be a complementary role player to a championship team.  If Danny can make a similar deal with Bradley and Avery performs at a higher, starter level, it's a bargain.


Celtics make it official with Sullinger.

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