Jerryd Bayless came to Boston in the salary dump trade designed to unload Courtney Lee. In other words, his biggest draw for us was the fact that his contract was expiring. With that said, Bayless is no slouch on the basketball court. When he's on he can be electric. He's also made comments to the effect of wanting to stick around in Boston for the long haul. So will he get his wish or will the free agent winds blow him elsewhere?
First of all, his play has pretty much backed up the scouting report on him. He's streaky and probably works best as a reserve offensive sparkplug.
For being added to the roster midstream, coupled with Boston's team struggles, it's hard to get a firm gauge on how Bayless has performed. What we know is that Boston's offensive rating does get an uptick when he's on the court -- the Celtics average 101.2 points per 100 possessions with Bayless, a little more than two points better than their season average. The asterisk there is that, as his time has spiked since the All-Star break with his on-court time jumping more than five minutes per game, Boston's offensive rating with him on the floor has dipped to 98.6 in those 16 games. What's more encouraging is that in 22 games as a reserve, Bayless' offensive rating is 103.6 overall, suggesting he's thriving offensively in his most typical role.
There's definite value in having guys like that on your roster. On the other hand, there might be more value in getting that from a lower priced player like a rookie or guys on veteran minimum contracts.
In the end, it might turn out that the $3M saved on letting Bayless walk will be used toward re-sign Avery Bradley (though it is never really that linear and simple). Still, if things play out a certain way this offseason, I could see Jerryd making a return to Boston in the Fall.