What do we do with… Brandon Bass?

The offseason is here for the Boston Celtics, and in just a couple of months, they will begin the process of putting next year’s team together.  We will take a look at the current Celtics and try to figure out what to do with each of them.  We continue today with Brandon Bass.

You can’t help but look at Brandon Bass and think there things he should be doing out there.

He should be rebounding better.  He should be better on the low post.   He should be more consistent doing the things he does well.

Those comments were made a lot this year, especially when a rookie came in and stole his starting spot.  Bass’s inconsistency made us wonder if we were duped by a contract-year player… that is… until the last couple of months.

Bass suddenly found his game… shooting 56% over his last 27 games.  After a season of averaging single-digits, Bass averaged 14 points a game in April, and he was one of the team’s best performers down the stretch.  In the playoffs, he was considered by many to be perhaps the team’s most valuable player strictly based on his defense on Carmelo Anthony.

Bass has acknowledged his ups and downs, and vows to correct them next season.  But will he be correcting them in Green and White?  The Celtics have a choice to make with Bass.

Trade him

Bass makes $6,450,000 next season and $6,900,000 the following year.  That’s on the high end of the “reasonable” spectrum (you know, they spot where you shrug, and squeak out in a voice an octave higher than normal “yeah, I guess that’s not too bad”).   The problem is that even though he could bring back a player worth $8,162,500 (the maximum 125% + $100,000 for a taxpaying team), Bass alone probably isn’t going to get you one of those guys.  He’d most likely have to be traded in a multiple-player package that would net the Celtics a player a “number 3 guy.”

The question with a package that includes Bass is the same as a package that includes almost any other player:  Is it enough to get back what the Celtics are looking for?  There is no doubt that Bass has value in a trade.  But how much does he really have?

Waive him

Technically possible, but it makes zero sense whatsoever.  Yes, you could use the stretch provision to spread the hit over 5 seasons, but that leaves $2.67 million on the cap just so a productive player can play elsewhere.  Forget it.

Keep him

Let’s just assume that upon his return, Jared Sullinger will win back the starting role next year.  That means Brandon Bass will come off the bench, which could be a very valuable role for him.  The Celtics have lacked a scoring punch off the bench, and pairing Bass with the right combination of players on the second unit could not only leave him more open to shoot his trademark mid-range jumper, it could allow him to face lesser defensive players that are less able to prevent him from driving the lane (and doing things like this).  We know he can start.  We know he can defend.  If he comes back with the right mindset, ready to contribute in a supporting role off the bench, he we could see the Bass of old that earned this contract.

So to recap…

  • The Celtics can explore a trade for him, with the likelihood being he’d be part of a package deal
  • They could waive him (which makes no sense)
  • They could keep him

My Take

The Celtics need to make some changes, so they’d be silly not to look at every possibility out there.  Bass has some trade value, and maybe he’s more valuable to a certain GM than others.  It’s hard to figure that out until you start asking around.  So the Celtics would be smart to gauge Bass’ value to see if they can upgrade anywhere else.

But to be fair, they should be doing that with just about everyone, and Danny Ainge generally does do that anyway.  If he finds the right deal for Bass, then he should pull the trigger.  Bass is by no means untouchable.  But he’s by no means someone the Celtics should jettison at any cost, either.  I’d be perfectly happy to keep Bass, who can be a very valuable contributor.

In short… see what he’s worth, part with him if you can upgrade, but keep him if you can’t get the right value for him.

 

Also check out:

What do we do with… Avery Bradley?

What do we do with… Jeff Green?

What do we do with… Courtney Lee?

What do we do with… Jason Terry?

What do we do with… Rajon Rondo?

What do we do with… Kevin Garnett?

What do we do with… Paul Pierce?