Potential Landing and Trade Packages for Celtics Forward Brandon Bass
Celtics power forward Brandon Bass is the kind of complementary piece most NBA playoff teams should want to add to their roster. He's in the prime of his career at age 29 and has been a consistent contributor while starting for Boston over the last three seasons, averaging around 12 points and five rebounds per game over that time span.
Unfortunately for Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, his team is not close to being a playoff contender right now. Instead, the Celtics are primed to begin the second year of a rebuild that features a logjam at the power forward position with youngsters like Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger battling Bass for playing time.
Bass is scheduled to earn $6.9 million in the final year of his contract next season. That salary, combined with the team's commitment to developing their youngsters for the future, indicate that Bass' days in Boston may be numbered. Zach Lowe of Grantland reported last week that the team has "tried like hell" to move the veteran power forward, but they have failed to find value in a trade thus far.
With that in mind, let's take a look around the league to find some potential landing spots and trading packages for the versatile forward.
All statistics and salaries provided by Basketball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
Portland Trail Blazers
Trade Idea: Celtics trade Brandon Bass and a second-round pick for Thomas Robinson and Victor Claver.
The Blazers already upgraded their bench in the frontcourt this season by bringing aboard center Chris Kaman, but they could still use some additional scoring punch from the second unit. Acquiring Bass would provide the Blazers with an offensive upgrade over Robinson with his stellar mid-range shooting.
Portland would also have the option of going small late in games with LaMarcus Aldridge at the 5 and Bass at the 4. That lineup would make the Blazers' already explosive offense even more dangerous and would give head coach Terry Stotts more options on the defensive end with the ability for Bass to defend multiple positions at forward.
The Celtics would get another cheap look at a lottery-level talent by bringing aboard Robinson. He's still signed through the 2016-17 season, and his skill set (rebounding) and age (23) make him a better fit for Boston's roster than Bass at this point. Claver would simply serve as salary filler in order to make the deal work for both sides.
Trade Idea: The Celtics trade Brandon Bass to the Pacers for Chris Copeland and a protected first-round pick.
The Pacers are in dire need of some help on the wing after the catastrophic injury to Paul George earlier this summer. The team plans on applying for the disabled player exception ($5.3 million), according to David Aldridge of NBA.com, which would give it the chance to add some salary via trade.
Bass is not a small forward by nature, but he does have the ability to defend the position well. Some of his best defensive work in recent seasons has come against wings like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
He's a much better defender than Luis Scola at this stage of his career, and given Indiana's dependence on strong defense, Bass would provide some much-needed flexibility for head coach Frank Vogel off the bench. The Pacers could then move Scola to another team to avoid having a pair of backup 4s upon acquiring Bass.
The Celtics are all about acquiring value at this point, so a first-round pick for Bass would be a serious win for them since it is unlikely they would re-sign him next summer. Taking on a slightly overpaid Copeland would be the cost of doing business for Boston in the deal.
Trade Idea: Celtics trade Brandon Bass for Tayshaun Prince, Jon Leuer and two second-round picks.
The return of a healthy Quincy Pondexter, combined with the signing of Vince Carter, makes dumping an overpaid Prince ($7.7 million) a welcome possibility for the Grizzlies. Bringing aboard Bass in this potential deal would be an upgrade at the power forward bench spot over Leuer and would provide Memphis with some experienced frontcourt depth after the departure of Ed Davis this offseason.
Bass would also help take the onus off Carter and Pondexter on the wing from a defensive standpoint, which is valuable since both of those players would not count defense as one of their strong suits.
The Celtics wouldn't have any real use for Prince in this deal given his age and declining abilities but would get a cheap look at a 24-year-old Leuer, who is signed through the 2016-17 season for just over $2 million. The former Wisconsin star has shown some promise in Memphis and added a three-point shot to his game (23-of-49 from three-point range last year), making him an appealing option for a Celtics team that is always looking for more offense on the perimeter.
Golden State Warriors
Trade Idea: Celtics trade Brandon Bass and a second-round pick for Marreese Speights and Festus Ezeli.
Golden State would be gambling a little bit here by giving up two potential rotation players from its frontcourt for one, but the upgrade should be worth it. With reliable shooters all over the place in the backcourt for the Warriors, Bass would have the space to feast on open mid-range jumpers all season long while opposing defenses keyed on Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Bass thrived in this kind of role during the 2012 postseason for Boston when flanked by players like Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, and the same could be true within this explosive Warriors offense. Bass also would provide a defensive upgrade over David Lee late in games, which would allow for new head coach Steve Kerr to only have to sacrifice a little offense whenever opting for Bass over Lee.
Speights earned a reasonable salary ($3.7 million), which would make it relatively easy for the Celtics to move the veteran in another deal this upcoming season and add more assets. Boston's main takeaway from the trade would come via Ezeli, though.
The big man missed the entire 2013-14 season due to a right knee injury after a promising rookie campaign. He also earns modest money ($1.1 million per year) for the next couple seasons. The Celtics still need a reliable center for their future, and Ezeli showed the potential of developing into one in spurts during his limited minutes for the Warriors two years ago.