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With the news that Brandon Bass will opt out of the remainder of his contract, the Boston Celtics now face the question of whether or not to sign him and for how much. In order to figure out if the Celtics should re-sign the 27 year old power forward, let’s take a look back at Bass’s first and only season in a Celtics’ uniform.
In the 2011 offseason the Celtics traded former second round draft pick Glen “Big Baby” Davis to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Bass. While Big Baby played reasonably well on defense, rotating between power forward and center in his time on the Celtics, his offense never found any level of consistency. The Celtics made the trade in an effort to have a more reliable fifth option on the court, behind the Big Three and Rajon Rondo.
In the regular season Brandon Bass averaged 32 minutes per game, 12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and had a free throw percentage of 81% and a field goal percentage of 48%.
His postseason stats were similar to the regular season as he averaged 30.4 minutes per game, 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, a 46% field goal percentage, and an astounding 92% free throw percentage. Bass stepped up and played big minutes against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals and finished the Cetics’ Game 7 loss with a stat line of 16 points, five rebounds, and four steals.
Brandon Bass was scheduled to make $4.25 million next season, but chose to opt out and see what he’s worth on the open market. With the 2012 NBA free agent class being far from packed with talent, Bass should be able to land a relatively lucrative deal. What the Celtics do this offseason largely hinges on what Kevin Garnett does.
If Garnett retires, the Celtics will have plenty of money to spend on bringing Bass back. If Garnett decides to come back the question becomes: How much should they pay the 36 year-old? How much money Garnett requests will determine what the Celtics have to work with to fill out the roster.
With the uncertainty of how much money Jeff Green will demand looming, the Celtics find themselves in a tough position this offseason. There are some who believe it’s time to blow up this incarnation of the Celtics and start over, while others think the veteran cast can still play at a high level and win.
Whatever happens with Garnett and Ray Allen, the Celtics should look to retain one of either Bass or Green. Both are young forwards who have a lot of upside and can contribute both on offense and defense. Signing both would be ideal for the Celtics as it will provide depth and young legs to run along side Rondo. I can see the Celtics signing Bass for about six or seven million, but any more than that may be too pricey for the Celtics.
Signing Bass is more likely to happen as the Celtics know what he brings to the table, while the jury is still out on Green after missing the entire 2011-2012 season. This offseason will be one to keep an eye on if you’re a fan of the Celtics.