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Avery Bradley says he’s ‘100 percent’ healthy and thinks he can play a meaningful role for the Lakers

Avery Bradley started to look like his old self in Memphis. He’s hoping to pick up from right there with the Lakers.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

While LeBron James and Anthony Davis will (rightfully) garner the bulk of the headlines about this year’s Los Angeles Lakers roster, one acquisition is hoping to get his career back on track after a few down years. Avery Bradley simply hasn’t been the same since the Boston Celtics traded him away, and could fill a hugely important role in L.A. should he regain some of that form.

Bradley was asked during a conference call with reporters about whether he could see such a scenario playing out.

”Yeah, I mean I hope so,” Bradley replied. “My goal is to come here and give myself a chance to show what I can do. I feel like it’s been a rough couple years for me, obviously with trades, being in one place for a long period of time and then going through that It’s been hard on me and my family, but I feel like this is going to give me some stability and give me an opportunity to show what I can do on both ends of the floor.”

Bradley mentioning the turmoil that comes with changing teams is something most people overlook in analyzing player performance. Generally speaking, we tend to look past professional athletes’ humanity in ways we really shouldn’t, and hopefully now that Bradley has some security with the Lakers, that might translate to more confidence on the court.

He thinks that will go a long way in improving his level of play.

”With basketball it’s all about opportunity and confidence, and in those two places I was given the opportunity, but I don’t feel like all the confidence was there,” Bradley said. “Memphis just was a lift for me, it was what I needed. First thing they told me was to go out there and play like you played in Boston, and I think that’s what I needed. I needed to just play free and play for my teammates, and go out there and compete every single possession, and that’s what I did.

“I feel like I was able to show that I still have that Avery Bradley from Boston in me.”

Speaking of Boston, Bradley said that, especially from a health standpoint, he’s looking forward to getting back to performing at a similar level in a similar situation.

”I feel great right now. Last year I was battling coming back from my groin injury, and now I’m 100 percent. I’m feeling extremely great right now. I’m healthy, I’m in shape,” Bradley said. “My role, I would expect it to be similar to my role my second year in Boston, being a guy that’s expected to compete on the defensive end and play off our key players. Whether that’s making cuts, or just finding other ways to get guys open by my cutting ability.

“That’s my focus. I’m looking at it as me playing with Paul Pierce and KG all over again.”

As far as the opportunity in front of him as a Laker, Bradley said that’s a better question for Frank Vogel and the rest of the coaching staff, but he’s willing to work for whatever he has to.

“As of right now I’m just focused on getting out there, being able to compete, pushing one another and I think all the chips will fall. Whatever the coach feels is best fit, whoever needs to start, whoever needs to come off the bench, whoever needs to play, that’s the decision that coach is going to make and that is what’s going to be best for the team and I’m going to accept that,” Bradley said.

“My focus is just to go out there and compete every single day and help my teammates on and off the court, and go out there and prove what I can do. That’s my focus.”

With LeBron James potentially assuming point guard duties in the starting lineup, the Lakers will need someone to guard at the point of attack. If Bradley is as healthy as he says and can focus on just that, the fit could be quite natural.

(It would also keep Rajon Rondo out of the starting lineup which is hugely important but hey we’ll see on that front)

All the Lakers need from Bradley is to defend at the point of attack and hit threes, especially in a starting five alongside James, Davis, Danny Green and whoever the fifth starter might be. If he’s really as healthy both physically and mentally as he says he is, this could wind up being a very valuable signing. If not, well, get yourself ready for a large helping of Rondo or more Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

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