Celtics

Ex-Celtic Avery Bradley explains why he's not playing in NBA restart

Ex-Celtic Avery Bradley explains why he's not playing in NBA restart

Avery Bradley is doing more than just expressing concerns about the NBA's 22-team season restart. He's taking action.

The Los Angeles Lakers guard has told the team he won't participate in the resumed season in Orlando, Fla., later this month, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Bradley cited a desire to remain with his family, which includes his wife and three children. Bradley's 6-year-old son, Liam, has a history of "struggling to recover from respiratory illnesses," per Wojnarowski, putting him at greater risk should he contract COVID-19.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Celtics news and analysis

"As committed to my Lakers teammates and the organization as I am, I ultimately play basketball for my family," Bradley told Wojnarowski. "And so, at a time like this, I can't imagine making any decision that might put my family's health and well-being at even the slightest risk."

Bradley's loss is a big one Lakers as they eye an NBA title in this shortened season. The former Boston Celtics guard was averaging 8.6 points per game when the season paused in March and is an elite defender who can stifle some of the league's best guards.

The health and safety of Bradley and his family are far more important, however. The 29-year-old isn't alone in opting out of the "bubble," either, as Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans reportedly will sit out, as well.

Bradley also has been outspoken about how players can best use their platforms to push for racial equality in America, and the veteran guard plans to continue that work this summer.

"As promised also, I will use this time away to focus on the formation of projects to help strengthen my communities," Bradley added.

The Lakers can sign a replacement player to fill Bradley's role, and free agent J.R. Smith is "a leading candidate" to team up with old friend LeBron James in L.A., per Wojnarowski.

Is Jaylen Brown the NBA's best shooting guard? Kendrick Perkins makes case

Is Jaylen Brown the NBA's best shooting guard? Kendrick Perkins makes case

Jaylen Brown didn't make the All-Star team this year, and you likely won't find him on a 2020 All-NBA squad.

But if you ask Kendrick Perkins, the voters should re-evaluate their choices.

After Brown dropped 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting and played impressive defense against Raptors star Pascal Siakam in the Boston Celtics' 122-100 dismantling of Toronto on Friday night, Perkins went on NBC Sports Boston's "Celtics Postgame Live" to drop a spicy take.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Magic, which begins Sunday at 4 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

"Jaylen Brown, to me, is the best all-around shooting guard in the league," Perkins said. "Pure point blank."

Brown is enjoying a career season, averaging 20.6 points on 48.8 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while continuing to play elite defense. The 23-year-old has been particularly hot of late, scoring 20 or more points in nine of Boston's last 10 games.

But is Perkins saying Brown is the best shooting guard in the NBA -- better than All-Stars like Bradley Beal and Devin Booker, not to mention MVP finalist James Harden?

Here's Perk's explanation:

He don't search for shots. He's not a high-volume scorer. But when you look up at the end of the night, he's got his 20 points on over 50 percent shooting. And he locks up the best guy every single night. You can't find that. And his playmaking is underrated. He's got a very high (basketball) IQ.

There are better scorers at the position -- including Harden, the NBA's most prolific scorer -- but you could argue Brown has become one of the league's strongest two-way shooting guards.

And Perkins very much would like to make that argument.

Perkins might take heat for declaring Brown the cream of the shooting guard crop, but his bold take shouldn't distract from the fact that the fourth-year wing is becoming an elite NBA player before our eyes.

Report: 76ers star Ben Simmons to leave NBA bubble for knee surgery

Report: 76ers star Ben Simmons to leave NBA bubble for knee surgery

Is the Philadelphia 76ers' worst-case scenario playing out?

All-Star guard Ben Simmons will leave the NBA bubble to undergo surgery on his left knee, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Saturday.

The procedure will "remove a loose body" from Simmons' knee, per Charania. The timetable for his recovery is unclear, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski suggested he'll at least miss the first round or two of the NBA playoffs.

Simmons injured his knee Wednesday during Philly's win over the Washington Wizards and was diagnosed with a subluxation of his left patella, or kneecap.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Magic, which begins Sunday at 4 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

His injury obviously has massive implications for the Sixers and the rest of the Eastern Conference -- particularly the Boston Celtics, who would match up with Philly in the first round if the season ended today.

Boston currently is the No. 3 seed in the East, while the Sixers are the No. 6 seed but have the same record as the No. 5 Indiana Pacers with four seeding games remaining.

Simmons is averaging 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, eight assists and a league-high 2.1 steals for Philly and is the team's best player outside big man Joel Embiid. His absence changes the entire dynamic of Philly's offense and makes the Sixers a much less formidable playoff opponent.