Avery Antonio Bradley Jr. (born November 26, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Texas Longhorns before being drafted 19th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA draft. With the Celtics, he was twice recognized as an NBA All-Defensive Team member. Bradley has also played for the Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers.
Bradley was born on November 26, 1990, in Tacoma, Washington, to Alicia Jones-Bradley and Avery Bradley, Sr. He has two older brothers, one older sister, and one younger brother. His mother worked in a welfare office, while his father had a 22-year military career. After the two divorced in 2001, Bradley lived with his mother but maintained a strong relationship with his father, whose career took him all over the country. He became a Texas Longhorns fan when he lived in Arlington from 2001 to 2004. He and his family left Texas for Tacoma in the summer of 2004, before the start of his eighth grade year. Bradley played on the same AAU team as future Celtics teammate Isaiah Thomas.
As a freshman in 2009–10, Bradley averaged 11.6 points for the Longhorns and established himself as one of the top defensive guards in the country. He subsequently earned Big 12 All-Rookie Team and All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors.
In April 2010, Bradley declared for the NBA draft, forgoing his final three years of college eligibility.
Bradley was selected with the 19th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. On July 2, 2010, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Celtics. The same day, he underwent successful ankle surgery and subsequently missed the 2010 NBA Summer League.
Still just 19 years old, Bradley joined a Celtics team that was one of the best in the Eastern Conference. He did not see his first regular season action until the fourteenth game of the season, a 23-point win over the Atlanta Hawks in which Bradley scored two points and committed two turnovers. On January 14, 2011, Bradley was assigned to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League and on the same day made his debut game for the team, playing 21 minutes and scoring 11 points. Following a spinal cord injury to Marquis Daniels during a game against the Orlando Magic on February 6, 2011, Bradley was recalled by the Boston Celtics on February 7, and joined the team for the game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
In the one Celtics game of Bradley's rookie season in which he played more than 15 minutes, Bradley scored 20 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and two steals. However, he played ten or more minutes in just two other NBA games and did not appear in any of the Celtics' postseason contests. On June 30, 2011, the Celtics exercised their third-year team option on Bradley's rookie scale contract, extending the contract through the 2012–13 season.
In October 2011, Bradley signed with Hapoel Jerusalem of the Israeli Basketball Premier League for the duration of the NBA lockout. He played three games with the team, averaging 13.7 points per game.
During the 2011–12 NBA season, Bradley enjoyed much more playing time and was promoted to a starting role following an injury to Ray Allen. Bradley's scoring output increased significantly during the season, and he managed a career-high 28 points against the Atlanta Hawks on April 20, 2012. He also received praise for his tremendous hustle and defense, including memorable blocks on Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook, among others. However, Bradley suffered a dislocated shoulder during the 2012 NBA Playoffs. This injury, which led to season-ending surgery, was a significant setback to the Celtics, who lost in seven games to the Miami Heat in the Conference Finals.
On October 30, 2012, the Celtics exercised their fourth-year team option on Bradley's rookie scale contract, extending the contract through the 2013–14 season. With Bradley still sidelined for the beginning of the 2012–13 NBA season, the aging Celtics struggled with the duo of Courtney Lee and Jason Terry receiving the majority of minutes at shooting guard. On January 2, 2013, Bradley returned to action against the Memphis Grizzlies, regaining his spot as the starting shooting guard and providing a significant boost to the team, evident by their winning six out of Bradley's first seven games back. However, the season was ultimately a disappointment for both Bradley and the Celtics. Although he led the league in fewest points per play allowed on defense, at 0.697, he struggled offensively, shooting just 40.2 percent from the field and managing 15 or more points just five times in 50 regular-season games. The Celtics lost any realistic chance of contention when point guard Rajon Rondo went down with a torn ACL on January 27, leaving them without their most dynamic player. After falling behind three games to none against the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, Boston mounted a furious comeback, winning two games and narrowly losing Game 6. Bradley, whose play in the series had mirrored the ineffectiveness of the team, provided a gutsy effort at the end of the game, making all four of his shots and stealing the ball three times in the last ten minutes. The Celtics entered the offseason with an eye toward the future and Bradley a vital part of their plans to rebuild a contender.
Bradley ultimately returned to action on March 14. In his fourth game back, a win over the Miami Heat, he connected on a career-high six three-pointers as part of a 23-point effort, then followed it up with 28 points, matching his career high, the next game. When healthy, Bradley played significant minutes and played effectively in the final stretch of the season, scoring at least 18 points in the team's last five games. Bradley shouldered a higher percentage of the offensive workload for Celtics in 2013–14, and he responded by greatly improving his shooting from the previous season. In a rebuilding year for the team, one that saw them win only 25 games, Bradley stood out as one of their few consistent performers.
Bradley has a son, Avery Bradley III, who was born just two weeks after Bradley's mother died, in September 2013. He began hosting a basketball camp, the Avery Bradley Skills Academy, for Boston-area children in the summer of 2014.
The Celtics ended an era on the day of the 2013 NBA draft, trading aging stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, as well as Jason Terry and D. J. White, to the Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics also declined to sign Bradley to a contract extension before the October 31, 2013 deadline, allowing him to become a restricted free agent in 2014. However, new Celtics coach Brad Stevens professed his trust in Bradley, who, in the absence of the injured Rondo, began the 2013–14 NBA season as the team's starting point guard. Bradley's time at point guard lasted just four disappointing games; he had more turnovers than assists, and the Celtics lost all four times. In an effort to turn the team around, Stevens named Jordan Crawford the new point guard, allowing Bradley to move to his natural shooting guard. The move worked brilliantly, as the Celtics immediately went on a four-game winning streak and the more comfortable Bradley settled nicely into his role on the team. Although the Celtics' lack of talent and experience began to show itself as the season went along, particularly with Rondo still out, Bradley was a rare bright spot, increasing his scoring average every month through January. He was especially effective in December, shooting a fantastic 50 percent on three-pointers and making 48.7 percent of his shots overall. Unfortunately, on January 21, in just the third game all season that Rondo was active, Bradley sprained his right ankle and ended up missing five contests. Shortly after returning, on February 5, he re-sprained the same ankle. Determined to be cautious, Stevens still had not set a return date for Bradley as the Celtics headed into the All-Star break more than a week later.
With Bradley set to become a restricted free agent in July 2014, the Celtics needed to extend a qualifying offer of $3.6 million in order to be able to match any contract offered by another team, which they did on June 30. On July 15, Bradley re-signed with the Celtics to a four-year, $32 million contract. Although the Celtics had high hopes for their backcourt pairing of Bradley and Rajon Rondo, both now healthy, they were soon dealt a setback when Rondo broke his hand a month before the 2014–15 season. Although the team planned to be cautious with Rondo's injury, Brad Stevens made the decision to keep Bradley at shooting guard even with Rondo out, with a mix of rookie Marcus Smart, second-year guard Phil Pressey and new acquisition Evan Turner playing point guard.
Bradley and the Celtics both continued to improve in 2016–17. Beginning with an opening night 17-point performance that included 3 of 4 three-point shooting, Bradley enjoyed his most effective offensive season, although injuries limited him to just 55 games. Starting every game he played, Bradley was remarkably consistent, with double digit scoring in 50 of his 55 regular season contests. At his best, he was an outstanding weapon from three-point range. In the Celtics' third game of the season, for instance, Bradley scored 31 points on a career-high eight three-pointers, also managing 11 rebounds, as the Celtics defeated the Charlotte Hornets. Bradley's season scoring average of 16.3 points per game was a career high, while his 39.0 three-point percentage was his best since 2013–14. His rebounding totals, meanwhile, saw a dramatic leap, as he averaged 6.1 for the season, nearly double what he ever had before. Bradley managed double digit rebounds on ten occasions, including November 16, when he recorded a career-high 13, to go along with 18 points, in a win over the Dallas Mavericks. Unfortunately, Bradley struggled through several injuries, most notably a right Achilles injury that cost him 22 out of 23 games during a stretch in January and February.
On July 7, 2017, in a bid to clear enough cap space to sign star free agent Gordon Hayward, as well as an attempt to increase the size of their perimeter defenders, the Celtics traded Bradley and a 2019 second-round draft pick to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Marcus Morris. Bradley had been the longest tenured Celtic on the team at the time. In his debut for the Pistons in their season opener on October 18, 2017, Bradley scored 15 points in a 102–90 win over the Charlotte Hornets. On November 15, 2017, he scored a season-high 28 points in a 99–95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Bradley missed seven games with a hip-groin injury between late December and early January.
On January 29, 2018, Bradley, along with Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanović, a future protected first-round draft pick and a future second-round draft pick, was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson. On March 13, 2018, he underwent successful surgery to repair adductor and rectus abdominis muscles. He was subsequently ruled out for six to eight weeks.
On July 9, 2018, Bradley re-signed with the Clippers.
On February 7, 2019, Bradley was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple. On February 12, Bradley led Memphis with a career-high 33 points in a 108–107 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
In July 2019, Bradley signed a two-year deal worth $9.77 million with the Los Angeles Lakers. The 2019–20 season was suspended mid-season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The season resumed, but Bradley opted out of playing in the restart to remain with his family due to his oldest child, six-year-old son Liam, who had a history of struggling to recover from respiratory illnesses. Without Bradley, the Lakers won the 2020 NBA Finals.
On July 6, 2019, Bradley was waived by the Grizzlies.
On November 23, 2020, Bradley signed with the Miami Heat.