The Los Angeles Lakers have added another sharpshooter to their roster, agreeing to a two-year deal with veteran guard Avery Bradley on Monday. Although the Purple and Gold missed the opportunity to sign a lot of good free agents while waiting for Kawhi Leonard’s decision last week, there is no denying the fact that being able to get the nine-year veteran is a great move for the organization.
Bradley gives the Lakers another 3-point threat, as he’s a career 38.4 percent shooter from behind the arc. He will definitely help LA space the floor, which will make things easier for LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Kuzma to do their work offensively.
The 28-year-old guard has also made his mark as an outstanding one-on-one defender. He was named to the NBA’s first-team defensive team in 2016 and the second team in 2013, both while playing for the Boston Celtics.
Bradley is capable of starting at shooting guard for the Lakers, as he’s a far more consistent two-way player than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was once again overpaid. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Avery comes off the bench in favor of KCP.
Yes, Caldwell-Pope was able to average more points over the past two seasons, but as previously mentioned, he’s been severely inconsistent. One game you will see him score and defend like an elite guard, and then he’ll slack off in the next one. He clearly struggles to stay focused over the course of an 82-game season, and I’m surprised that he has done nothing to improve that despite knowing that he’s a starter for the Lakers.
Effort won’t be a problem for Bradley. He moves well without the ball, which makes him an excellent spot-up shooter, and he’s a feisty defender who isn’t going to back down from anyone. He also does all the little things on the floor, which is why he will be a better fit in the starting lineup than KCP.
One can argue Bradley has already lost a step after almost a decade in the league, but he’s still a more capable defender than most guys on the Lakers roster. If the team gives him an ample amount of opportunities on the floor, Bradley will definitely give them a lot of good results.
Last summer, fans were left puzzled when the Lakers signed guys like Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley. Both players had an excellent 2017-18 campaign, but it was clear that LA needed shooters. It was evident during the course of the regular season that the front office didn’t do a great job.
This season is different, as the Lakers have now made sure that they assemble a competitive roster that can go toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the league, and with the Los Angeles Clippers landing Kawhi and Paul George, signing Bradley was no doubt a must. Getting him is arguably the team’s best move in free agency outside of the acquisition of Danny Green.
Barring any injuries, the Lakers are primed to contend for a championship next season, and the addition of Bradley strengthens their chances of doing just that.