As the NBA season begins, one of the main storylines for the Celtics was about getting younger, healthier, and providing more depth on the bench, a key aspect of their 2008 championship run.
To do that, the Celtics made a decision to let futre Hall of Famer and three point specialist Ray Allen walk in free agency; he would then sign with the Miami Heat, the main contention for Boston out of the East. Boston let it be known that by letting Allen go, they invested in the 21-year old Bradley, the Celtics' first-round pick, selected 19th overall, in the 2010 NBA Draft.
The young shooting guard initially played a good backup role as the primary shooting guard behind Allen. But as Allen got hit with nagging injuries, Bradley saw more playing time, and better chemistry with point guard Rajon Rondo and the offense as a result. His ability as a lock down defender served Boston well later in the season and in the first part of the playoffs. It was when he went down with a shoulder injury that Boston's already thin depth took a hard hit.
Now, Boston has handed the reins to this young player, who has the abillity to be a very capable shooting guard in this league. He has shown an ability to score with the ball and gives the Boston Celtics a look towards their future with him and point guard Rajon Rondo. But, Bradley will certainly not be alone to shoulder all of Allen's three point responsibilities, with the Celtics opting to sign veteran Jason Terry, formerly of the Dallas Mavericks, who can play both guard positions.
Where Bradley will be invaluable is as a lock down defender, providing Boston with a young defender who can match up against the likes of a player like a Derrick Rose where Allen could not. He provides the youth that Boston is in need of, and the chemsitry he gained as a starter last season was good enough that it showed that Boston could be productive without Allen, who's skill set became diminished as he got hit with nagging injuries.
Bradley's elevation is a look towards the future of the Boston Celtics. Ray Allen was a great player, but the Celtics have to move forward with Rajon Rondo as the face of their franchise, and to help that franchise player perform to his utmost potential, Boston has held onto him as the hope that he will be a solid foundation of the Celtic's future.