Avery Bradley is part of the surplus of guards on the Los Angeles Clippers and really has just one purpose: trade value at the NBA Trade Deadline.
The Los Angeles Clippers have a surplus of guards on the roster. After drafting point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and shooting guard Jerome Robinson in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft, the team has had to get creative with how to use all of the assets on the team.
One of the players that not many people expected to be on the Los Angeles Clippers is guard Avery Bradley.
Bradley was acquired in the deal that sent Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons and was an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Bradley signed a two-year, $24.96 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.
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This was an interesting move for two reasons. First is obvious, there is a slew of guards and this contract was agreed upon after the draft. Second, Bradley only has $2 million guaranteed after this season.
If the Clippers waive him before the Fourth of July next year, the team only has two pay him $2 million. The reason for that deadline? If the Clippers are unable to deal him at the NBA Trade Deadline this season.
Bradley has been struggling thus far through two games and wasn’t necessarily great as a Clipper last season, either. This, mixed with the excess of guards, has made Bradley’s role questionable; why did the Clippers make it a point to re-sign him.
Trade value. That is all it is. There is no real reason outside of that; that is why the team only wanted to guarantee him $2 million next season. Why not just sign a one-year deal? Because as an expiring contract, a player like Bradley would not have as much trade value.
Bradley likely will not be the center focus of a deal but could be an important part to keep the Clippers from dealing either of the rookies. Perhaps he could be a nice defensive asset in a deal for Jimmy Butler at the deadline.
Or, if the Clippers have any doubts that the team will get a superstar in the offseason, the team can absorb a contract from a team looking to free space (like the New York Knicks) in exchange for a draft pick.
Bradley’s contract is the perfect amount, it is that perfect middle-ground amount that is easily tradable in the NBA. Teams can acquire him to bolster a title push or to free contract space.
Either way, the Los Angeles Clippers are not looking for Bradley to perform better for a chance to make an eighth-seed and lose to the Golden State Warriors in the first round.
Instead, the team is looking for him to improve in order to increase his trade stock to get a better return in February.