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Rockets 2021 player recaps: Avery Bradley

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A look back at Bradley’s 2021 season.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Orlando Magic Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Avery Bradley

When Avery Bradley joined the Rockets, the season had been already over for a few weeks. The team had waved the white flag and Bradley went from a contender in Miami to a lottery-bound Houston Rockets squad.

Like many of us, AB has been dealt a difficult hand in the past year or so. While playing for the Lakers, he was one of the first players to opt out of the COVID bubble, doing so to protect his son Liam, who has a history of respiratory illnesses. Then, the Lakers won the championship without him and he signed with the Heat after they lost to the Lakers in the Finals.

AB could not stay on the floor, playing just 10 games with the Heat before that deadline deal for Victor Oladipo. The idea that the Rockets would buy out Bradley was thrown around because he would soak up playing time that could be allotted to younger players that better fit the Rockets’ timeline.

However, Bradley’s contract features a player option for 2021-22, which means Bradley can decide to stay with the Rockets beyond the season. He eventually stayed in Rockets red for the remainder of the season and suited up 17 times for the Rockets.

Bradley provided a defensive intensity, which Stephen Silas appreciated, rewarding Bradley a spot in the starting lineup in five of his appearances. Bradley averaged just 5.2 points per game with the Rockets and his future with the team hangs in the balance with his player option deadline approaching on August 1.

If Bradley accepts that player option, I’d imagine he’d only be used in situations where the team needs extreme depth. Guys like Eric Gordon and Khyri Thomas will likely grab more minutes at the 2-guard position and there will also be an influx of rookies and newbies that make more sense for the Rockets to play.