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Celtics

Ainge: Celtics Want Avery Bradley Back

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Avery Bradley #0 of the Boston Celtics. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Avery Bradley #0 of the Boston Celtics. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — Avery Bradley will be a restricted free agent come this summer, but the Boston Celtics would like the shooting guard to be part of their future foundation.

“We have every intention of having Avery Bradley with us in the future,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday. “I think Avery is a terrific player and I think he’ll be with us — I’m very hopeful.”

Bradley has battled a pair of ankle injuries, but is averaging a career-high 14.3 points and 3.8 rebounds over 50 games (48 starts) this season. He’s been much more aggressive on the offensive end, taking four more shots per game than last season, and his shooting has improved as well. Bradley is hitting 44-percent from the field and 37-percent from three-point land.

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But his bread and butter comes on the defensive end, where he is one of the best on the Celtics. He is often tabbed with the duties of guarding the opposition’s best guard, and was named to the NBA All-Defensive 2nd Team in 2012-13.

The 23-year-old Bradley is making just over $2.5 million this season, and he reportedly turned down a four-year, $24 million offer from the Celtics last summer. He is reportedly looking for a deal in the neighborhood of $8.5 million per season, though it’s unclear if any team would give him such an offer come this summer.

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Being a restricted free agent, the Celtics have the ability to match any offer sheet Bradley receives over the summer.

Bradley was Boston’s first-round pick in 2010, selected 19th out of Texas.

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