After just one season with the Los Angeles Lakers, veteran forward Brandon Bass is moving on but remaining in the same city, as he reportedly signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
Shams Charania of The Vertical reported the news on Bass, who will be reunited with his former Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times confirmed the report and noted the one-year deal is worth the veteran minimum of $1.5 million.
Bass' decision isn't unexpected, as he opted out of his contract with the Lakers on June 16 in order to become an unrestricted free agent.
The 31-year-old big man averaged 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game for the Lakers in 2015-16 after four strong seasons with the Celtics.
The Lakers brought in Bass primarily as a mentor to younger players such as Julius Randle and D'Angelo Russell, but his minutes and overall production dropped off in comparison to his time in Boston.
During the latter part of the season, Bass expressed uncertainty with regard to his future with the Lakers, per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News: "I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm a special type of player and person to be around this type of group. I think I can help develop these young guys. I want them to be successful. I would love to see them grow and would love it to be here. But you never know what happens."
Bass reiterated his stance following the season and acknowledged playing for a 17-65 team came with plenty of obstacles, according to Rodrigo Azurmendi of the Lakers' official website: "Today I talked to my agent, and we'll see what's best for me and my family, and we'll see what happens. Definitely I enjoyed this season, a very challenging season, but I feel you have to take the good with the bad and make the best of any situation."
The former LSU standout is set to enter his 12th NBA season, and he figures to be a better fit with the Clippers than he was for a struggling Lakers squad in 2015-16.
After tenures with the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic, Bass started 224 of the 304 games he appeared in for the Celtics from 2011-2015, averaging 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest.
Bass also boasts extensive playoff experience with 58 career postseason games, including 20 starts for the Celtics during their run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012. He's likely to be appearing in the postseason as a member of the Clippers this coming season.
The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native has been an important cog for winning teams quite often over the course of his career, and it's conceivable playing for one of the NBA's worst teams last season took a toll on him.
Bass can provide solid minutes off the bench, brings a veteran presence, competes at both ends of the floor and is efficient, as evidenced by his career field-goal percentage of 49.6 percent.
As a quality depth player for winning teams throughout his career, Bass now finds himself in a much-better situation, as he can put the miserable 2015-16 campaign behind him. He'll likely be the primary backup to Blake Griffin and be a strong mentor for L.A.'s younger big men in Branden Dawson and Brice Johnson.
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