Bradley gets quicker fixer-upper
No. 1 pick gets surgery, contract
ORLANDO, Fla. — While the Celtics flew south to begin the summer league activities, their first-round pick, Avery Bradley, stayed behind in Boston, scratching two items off his to-do list.
Bradley had successful surgery yesterday morning on the ankle he sprained a week before the draft, then he signed his rookie deal.
The two-year contract will pay the guard $1.8 million the first year and $1.2 million the next, with team options for the third and fourth seasons, standard with all first-rounders.
Bradley’s surgery was the top priority after the Celtics took him with the 19th pick in last month’s draft. Initially, the plan was to have the procedure when Kendrick Perkins had his ACL surgery, but Celtics president Danny Ainge said the process went quicker than anticipated.
“[Bradley] had some swelling in him when he was here the day after the draft and they thought it was going to be another 10 to 12 days before his swelling went down before the surgery,’’ Ainge said. “But when he got back from home [in Washington], they decided to pull the trigger and do it.’’
Bradley will likely miss 6-8 weeks, but will be ready for training camp. Ainge said missing out on the head start that comes with summer league will take a toll on the 19-year-old, but not a great one.
“It hurts him,’’ Ainge said. “It would be better if he were here. But I think that Avery, he seems like a kid that will pick things up pretty quick. It’s not like it’s disastrous, but it’d be better if he were here.’’
“The guy can play,’’ Ainge said. “I always proclaim that he’s really, really good, because I played him in college once and he stole it from me like five times. Then, we played him a couple times in the D-League and he had like 30 on us every time. So, for my own pride, I say Oliver’s really good.’’
Surrounded by rookie free agents, Lafayette looked less like a D-League call-up and more like a veteran on the first day of practice at Rollins College’s Warden Arena, showing a comfort level that came from being around the Celtics from the last week of the regular season through the NBA Finals.
Lafayette and Tony Gaffney are the only players on the Celtics roster with NBA experience and Austin Ainge said it was noticeable.
“Oliver Lafayette is a big advantage because he’s been with the Celtics and he’s played in the D-League the last two years, and the rules are identical,’’ he said. “So you could see he was well in advance of everyone else today.’’
“I’m very comfortable,’’ Lafayette said. “I know what these guys want. First, defense and then running the team. So it’s very comfortable for me.’’