The season hasn’t started yet, but our Celtics are already a man down: Avery Bradley will undergo a second surgery on that troublesome shoulder, and could be out of action until the December time-frame. The timing of the news couldn’t be worse for Danny Ainge, who lost out on the Ray Allen sweepstakes and is scrambling to complete a roster that will look much like the one that didn’t get the job done last season.
Couple of things on Bradley – first, he will definitely miss training camp and all of the roster and player development that goes along with it. Not good news for a player who barely saw the court during his rookie season, but who was experiencing a breakout season in Year 2 before going down with that shoulder injury. And when he does finally come back, it’s safe to assume that he will have plenty of catching up to do.
Beyond Bradley, Ainge and Rivers must now figure out what to do with the shooting guard position. Jason Terry will likely see a heavier workload than originally anticipated, and there are rumors that the Celtics may be interested in pursuing Courtney Lee and O.J. Mayo. Lee and Mayo are long shots at best, and, barring a trade, neither are likely to don a Celtics uniform this season. So Ainge will continue to look at options, and he will no doubt cobble something together by the start of training camp, but he’s clearly limited in terms of dollars and cap room.
Will Terry start? At this point I would say so, although plenty could happen between now and November. And depending on who else is inked, we could be looking at an opening night starting lineup of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass, Terry and Rajon Rondo. That’s the most logical starting point. Green will likely focus on backing up Pierce, where he would be more effective, although Rivers will probably use him at the power forward spot as well. Jared Sullinger should see minutes behind Bass, while Melo could see more playing time with Greg Stiemsma unlikely to re-sign with Boston.
The return of Bradley will help, assuming he’s healthy enough to play, but the Heat, Bulls, Thunder and Lakers appear to be better on paper than the Celtics at this point.
And call me stup