There's been some speculation that Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley might not be ready for the start of the 2012-13 season after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery during the playoffs, but a league source indicated Saturday that Bradley is still targeting a training camp return and, barring a setback, he should be ready for the start of the new campaign.
Bradley's availability got further thrust into the spotlight on Friday night when Ray Allen, whose starting job Bradley took over at the end of last season, elected to sign with the Miami Heat. Allen re-assumed that starting role when Bradley went under the knife in late May and, had Bradley not been ready for the start of next season, Allen seemed a likely candidate to keep that role if he had returned to Boston.
Without Allen, and Boston scrambling to add depth now at the shooting guard position, an extended Bradley absence might have put the Celtics in a tough spot.
But a league source indicated that Bradley's rehab from surgery thus far has "looked really good," and only a future setback would likely detour that original target date of being back on the floor for camp.
Keep in mind that the Celtics expressed similar hopes that Bradley would be ready for the start of his rookie campaign, this after undergoing ankle surgery for an injury sustained in a pre-draft workout. Bradley missed nearly all of camp and, thanks in part to that setback, struggled to get on the floor in his first year in Boston.
With the impending addition of former Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry, the Celtics can offset the loss of Allen if Bradley is ready for the start of the year and Terry can fill the bench role that Allen never seemed quite comfortable with.
In the interest of a good storyline, there's also the chance that the Celtics and Heat could be opening-night foes and it just wouldn't seem right if the Bradley-Allen matchup wasn't in the spotlight whenever that first meeting occurs.