In the aftermath of top target Kawhi Leonard’s decision to leave the Toronto Raptors for the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers filled out their roster by welcoming several new additions via free agency and also re-signed multiple key contributors from the previous season. Compared to the likes of former Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins and ex-Toronto Raptors wingman Danny Green, Avery Bradley flew slightly under the radar as a new Lakers acquisition, following a down season where he split time between the Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
In an interview published on Monday by Lakers Nation, Bradley explained the factors that came into play when he signed a two-year contract with the Lakers earlier this month. According to the 28-year-old combo guard, it was his former Boston Celtics teammate Rajon Rondo who was one of the main reasons behind his move, even if he didn’t specifically tell him to sign with Los Angeles for the coming season.
As Bradley related, Rondo apparently resisted the chance to personally recruit him to the Lakers, as he wanted his former Celtics backcourt partner to make his own decision. However, he stressed that he and Rondo are still “like family,” and that this relationship was partially responsible in driving him to sign with the Lakers as a free agent this summer.
“[O]ur relationship is good on and off the floor. I feel like without him even knowing it, he is part of the reason why I came here. He’s a great person and [a] great basketball player.”
Avery Bradley on signing with Lakers.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) July 29, 2019
In addition, Bradley told Lakers Nation he is looking forward to growing as a player and learning from the likes of Rondo and his other new teammates. He said the opportunity to “pick up a lot of leadership qualities” from some of his fellow Lakers also proved instrumental in influencing his decision in free agency.
After averaging just 8.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and two assists in 48 games with the Clippers prior to the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline in February, Avery Bradley had a solid 14-game stint with the Grizzlies, where his numbers went up to 16.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and four assists per outing. While the Lakers will be his fourth team in the last three campaigns, he notably spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics, from 2010 to 2017.
As shown on his Basketball-Reference player page, Bradley has career averages of 12 points, three rebounds, and 1.8 assists and shooting percentages of 43.6 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three-point range, over 522 games in nine seasons. The former University of Texas star has also been named to two All-Defensive Teams since entering the NBA in 2010.