Boston Celtics: Why Danny Ainge Must Re-Sign Brandon Bass

Adam SpencerCorrespondent IJune 13, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MAY 12:  Brandon Bass #30 of the Boston Celtics and Lavoy Allen #50 of the Philadelphia 76ers battle for position in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 92-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Brandon Bass was just supposed to be the sixth man for the Boston Celtics this season, backing up Kevin Garnett at the power forward position.

That’s why the Celtics traded Glen “Big Baby” Davis to the Orlando Magic in order to acquire him.

But after a season-ending injury to Jermaine O’Neal and after a heart condition sidelined Chris Wilcox, Bass was thrust into a starting role. 

He took over the power forward position while KG moved to center. 

Though the bench certainly struggled without Bass to anchor the second unit, the starters benefited greatly from his presence in the starting lineup.

Bass enjoyed a career year, averaging 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He was a very solid perimeter shooter too, hitting his 15 to 17-foot jumpers regularly.

This offseason, though, Bass will have the option to test the free agent market. However, if general manager Danny Ainge doesn’t re-sign the young power forward, he’ll be making a huge mistake.

Bass will be (and should be) a hot commodity in free agency. He can start for a contender or can be a very valuable sixth man for a team with championship potential.

He only made $4 million in 2011-12, which was an absolute steal for the Celtics, especially since Davis made $6.3 million with the Magic this season and produced less than Bass.

Davis may not have been worth the 4-year/$26 million contract he got, but Bass has proven he’s worth that much.

It’s a fair price for a guy who will continue to produce for the duration of a potential four-year contract, and it will still leave the Celtics with plenty of cap room to sign more free agents to replenish their roster.

For a team that desperately needs to add size to be competitive in the near future, the Celtics can’t allow one of their youngest, most productive big guys to walk out the door in free agency.