While the Los Angeles Lakers were making their run through the NBA Playoffs for their championship, point guard Avery Bradley was absent, likely viewing his teammates on TV at home. In fact, Bradley opted out of playing the remaining season (in the bubble), but before doing so he played an integral role in the Lakers’ success, averaging nearly nine points in 24 minutes per game off the bench.
Recently, Bradley decided to opt out of his final year of his contract in Los Angeles and so declined a $5 million player option fee for next season. Numerous NBA teams were interested in the 29-year old veteran’s services as his agent Charles Briscoe told TheAthleticNBA. In fact, it didn’t take long for Bradley to find a new home signing a two-year deal with the Miami Heat for $11.6 million.
Quite the irony that Bradley will suit up for the team the Lakers defeated in the NBA Finals last season. However, the Heat saw the value that the veteran provides. The stop in Miami will be Bradley’s fifth team since the 2017-2018 season, joining the Pistons, Clippers, Grizzlies, and Lakers. The Miami Heat team doesn’t have many holes to fill after finishing 44-29 last season, but backup point guard was one of them.
Goran Dragic is listed first on the depth chart and was still productive at age 34, averaging 16 points and five assists per game. Kendrick Nunn is listed second at point guard on the depth chart, but he started 67 games and averaged 15 points in 29 minutes per game. Jimmy Butler is listed third, but he’s clearly not a true point guard. Oddly enough Bradley is listed fifth on the Heat’s depth chart at point guard by ESPN, but it’s very unlikely that Bradley will see significant time or else the Heat have wasted over $11 million and still under 30, Bradley wants and deserves time on the floor.
Bradley is also quite versatile as he can play shooting guard just as well as the point. While not a potent offensive threat, Bradley can provide a little from three-point range, having hit 37 percent over the past two years and is just two seasons removed from averaging 15 points per game with the Pistons. Overall, for team that needs very little after finishing just two games short of an NBA title, the Heat made a smart, financially sound move to land Avery Bradley, a solid veteran leader in the back-court.