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State of the Celtics: how a hypothetical trade with the Knicks turned into conversation about Avery Bradley's contract extension

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Yesterday, there were rumors that the Toronto Raptors were looking to deal Kyle Lowry to either the Knicks or the Nets. That prompted a hypothetical conversation about whether or not Danny Ainge should throw his chips into the mix. Then, there was a report last night about Avery Bradley rejecting a 4 year, $24 million extension and wanting at least $8 million a year. CelticsBloggers discussed.


It started with an innocent question in the CelticsBlog war room and then bedlam ensued:

wjsy: Would you guys trade Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks for Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr.?

Jeff Clark: I would.  Yeah.

Jack Jemsek: Is there any long-term value to that trade other than tanking? Do any other teams want Shumpert as he's not shown much this year . . . I'm afraid I've grown fond of JCrawford, but I'm goofy like that sometimes . . .

Kiorrik: Yeah, I'm with Jack here. JCraw is quickly growing into A.Bradley's inverted brother, which I love.  I'm an emotional C's fan more than a smart basketball guy though ;)

Master Po: Tough call....probably would do the deal though..and I usually don't like trades.

Alex Skillin: I wouldn't really feel the need to do that trade. Crawford's playing great, and mostly, I don't really see any of those four as notable pieces for the future. I know Shumpert's a potentially great defender, but he also seems like kind of a knucklehead and I don't see much offensive upside at all.  Maybe I'm wrong, though, especially if you see Hardaway as having decent potential.

Kevin O'Connor: I didn't like Hardaway going into the draft but he has really impressed me. His game has translated better than expected, and he has been relatively consistent (one of my biggest issues with him). Still a really small sample size, just like it is with Jordan Crawford this season. IMO Shumpert is the prize in that trade idea. I know he's struggling this year but still, it's a buy low for Shump, a sell high with Crawford.

wjsy: And with this Bleacher Report report that Avery is looking for upwards of over $8 million per year next season, grabbing Shumpert doesn't sound like a bad idea.

Tim MacLean: If AB extended his range and became a more consistent three point shooter rather than just a really good mid range jump shooter then I would more than likely shell out $8 million per for him. Anyone else agree? I mean I think Shumpert is a really good player but at the same time he has too big of an ego for me.

Kiorrik:100% there with you on his ego.  Also, I think AB is worth it. I can see him getting better, especially with Rondo's return etc etc.

wjsy: 38% ain't bad, and what you lose in percentage points from 3, you gain exponentially in defense. I understand that he's not OJ Mayo or Monta Ellis offensively, but the kid works so damn hard. That's gotta be worth something.  This is where I don't get Ainge's logic. Restricted free agency almost never works out for the original team. Someone will drive up the price, they'll have nothing we'll want in return, and we'll lose Avery outright. Why not sign him to an extension (that's reasonably fair) and then consider trading him later?  I thought by hiring Brad Stevens to such a long contract, the writing on the wall was that this was going to be a long, drawn out rebuild that was going to be homegrown (like the Trailblazers and OKC). With Stevens on board for six years and all the draft picks coming up, they would collectively nurture young talent on the cheap.

Kiorrik: Maybe he has a plan that relies heavily on having cap space?

Kevin O'Connor: I honestly don't think anyone will drive up the price. If Avery's shot isn't falling, he's a liability offensively. Of course, he's improved, but he's also proven that he is NOT a point guard. He can only play the two offensively, though he can defend both the one and most twos defensively. I think we'd really have to go back at what defensive specialists have gotten in free agency the past 3-5 years. I'm guessing not very many got $8 mil, but I may be wrong.

wjsy: Someone always comes out of the woodwork. Some desperate GM will pay Abe (←I heard Jeff Green call him that last night).

Kiorrik: Kevin, Prokhorov just texted me; bets you 10 bucks someone will pay 8 million for Bradley.

Jack Jemsek: At ABs position (SG) and skillset - aren't we looking at a Tony Allen comp here? $5m/yr max? . . . Which is Courtney Lee's unfulfilled salary . . .

Tim MacLean: Have to agree with Bill on this. Restricted free agency is rarely friendly to the player's original squad. There's at least one team in this league that will pay Avery his $8 mil and then it just comes down to money vs. how much he wants to be a Celtic. If someone offers $8 mil and Danny turns arounds and says that he feels more comfortable at around $5-6 mil then you've got a problem on your hands. Obviously the situation wasn't ideal during the period when they could talk extensions what with his mom passing and the birth of his son but Danny might regret not working a little harder to get a deal done. AB's a valuable piece whether he's a great offensive player or not.

Jeff Clark: I tend to agree that restricted free agency costs you, but you have to remember just how poor Bradley looked on offense last year. Headed into this year that was a major question mark and as much as I love Avery's defense, you can't give half a player that kind of cash. He's proven himself a lot more this year (finally healthy and back in the groove) but that's the whole point of keeping your options open. If he struggled this year (or more likely got hurt again), then you aren't on the hook for a long term contract. If he's worth the money to match any offer, we'll keep him. If not,we still have the option to sign and trade him.