Over the last two years, the usual No. 34, No. 5 and No. 9 jerseys at TD Garden have gradually be joined by a new digit: Zero.
Avery Bradley‘s jersey has become a fan favorite, especially among a younger set of fans for whom the championship of 2008 is just a distant memory. (It doesn’t seem like that long ago, but a Celtics fan born on the day the team clinched its last championship would be beginning kindergarten this fall.) In just two short NBA seasons — his rookie year was mostly spent watching from the bench or playing in the D-League — Bradley has come to personify what the Celtics perceive to be their identity.
The question is, what is that identity worth?
Bradley, 22, will make a shade over $2.5 million this season as the incumbent starting shoot guard. That’s more than a fair rate for a defensive menace, tricky cutter without the ball and capable corner 3-point shooter. Ardent Bradley fans would even argue he has greater value as a “glue” guy for a team in transition.