Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Lakers used their $4.72 million room exception to sign Avery Bradley, a veteran shooting guard who’s hoping to have a bounce-back season after consecutive underwhelming stints with the Detroit Pistons and LA .Clippers.
Prior to his recent decline in productivity, Bradley was regarded as one of the better two-way guards in the NBA because of the success he enjoyed during his seven seasons with the Boston Celtics, in two of which he made All-Defensive teams, including the All-Defensive First Team in 2016. In five of those seasons, Bradley played alongside Rajon Rondo, who he’ll reunite with in Los Angeles this summer.
During a conference call with reporters last week, Bradley said that Rondo had a hand in his decision to sign with the Lakers, but not as directly as some might think.
”We’re like family,” Bradley said of Rondo. “The recruiting, I know that was a little tough for him, he tried to stay away from that. He just wanted me to go out there and make whatever decision was best for me and my family, but our relationship is good, on and off the floor.
“I feel like without him even knowing it, he is part of the reason that I came here. He’s a great person, great basketball player, and having the opportunity to learn from where he is now in his game can benefit me,” Bradley continued. “I feel like there are a lot of guys I’m going to be able to pick up a lot of different leadership qualities from, and that helped me decide to make my decision to come here. It wasn’t just because of basketball. It was because of being able to build myself as a person too.
“This was the perfect situation that God put me in with the players that are here. I felt like it was going to help me become a better person and a better basketball player.”
Among the players that he’ll be learning under are LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Davis might be two years younger than Bradley, but Bradley has an immense respect for Davis and his game. He feels the same way about James.
“To me, LeBron’s the best player in the world and Anthony Davis is the best player at his position, going up against those guys, that’s always been a lot of good battles,” Bradley said. “I knew if I ever had the opportunity to play with one of those guys I would definitely think about it, and now that the opportunity presented itself I didn’t hesitate.”
Bradley will fight for playing time at the guard positions with players such Rondo, Quinn Cook, Alex Caruso, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Troy Daniels this season, but he’s confident that he’ll be able to crack the rotation by listening and learning from his teammates.
“Everything was aligned and I’m just happy that I have the opportunity to play with them because, again, like I said, I’m going to be able to learn a lot from those guys,” Bradley said. “I’ll be able to learn from them and try to apply it to my game, and hopefully it can really be effective for our team.”