Since we are now in the NBA All-Star Weekend, this is the most crucial time for all NBA GM’s to decide how to improve their roster for a playoff run or to prepare for next season and dump some salary. A lot of playoff contending teams are looking for a reliable performer that won’t steal the show every night, but a capable contributor on both ends of the floor. The Boston Celtics are fortunate to have that kind of player in Brandon Bass, who has been named in several trade rumors throughout this season. Brandon Bass has spent the last three seasons with the Celtics after being traded here from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
As I stated before, Brandon Bass has been a subject of numerous trade rumors all season long. The Celtics have engaged talks with the Houston Rockets to take disgruntled center Omer Asik off their hands in exchange for Bass and several other assets. The trade possibility fell through after the Rockets wanted Brandon Bass, a 1st-round draft pick and either Jeff Green or Courtney Lee. They clearly wanted way too much for a mediocre center with a bad contract. Recent rumors have been flying all over the media saying that the Golden State Warriors, the Phoenix Suns and the Charlotte Bobcats are interested in acquiring Bass. Just a few days ago, another rumor popped up saying that the Oklahoma City Thunder are interested in Bass as well. There’s never really anything concrete when it comes to trade rumors and they eventually blow over as time passes, but it doesn’t change that fact that it makes a lot of people anxious to see what the end results will be. As some of you may know, I’m not a fan of trades after Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Doc Rivers were traded over the summer. Courtney Lee, Jordan Crawford and Marshon Brooks were traded earlier in the season as well. With all of those guys already gone, I’ve seen enough trades for a while and dealing Brandon Bass would be a huge blow to the Celtics.
Even for a rebuilding team like the Celtics, you still need an experienced veteran on the roster that is playoff-tested and Brandon Bass fits the bill. If the Celtics can make the playoffs this year, they will have a hard-nosed veteran in Brandon Bass to determine how successful they are in the playoffs. Bass is having a great year for the Celtics averaging 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while bouncing back and forth between the starting lineup and coming off the bench with no complaints. Probably the most important factor is that he has played very well under Brad Stevens’ offensive system, which puts him down in the post more often than just relying on perimeter shooting.
Brandon Bass has been a much more physical player defensively this year than I’ve ever seen since he has joined the Celtics. His ability to defend athletic wing players like Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James and David West gives the Celtics a huge advantage in neutralizing their opponents’ strengths. The Celtics enter the All-Star Weekend in the Top-10 in points allowed in the NBA and Bass is playing his part in leading the team in blocks per game. If the Celtics make the playoffs this year, they will more than likely face the Indiana Pacers or the Miami Heat in the first round and will really need a physical guy like Brandon Bass to keep both teams at bay.
When February 20th rolls around, the Celtics will need to make a decision whether to take their chances and move Bass or keep him for the next stage of the rebuild. I personally would rather hold onto Brandon Bass with the way he has played so far this season and the Celtics probably aren’t going to get much in return if the Bobcats, Suns, Warriors or Thunder have nothing to offer for him. Plus, Bass is a real positive influence to the other young big men in the locker room and has adapted to leading by example for them. If the Celtics pull the trigger and deal Bass before the deadling, we will be needing a guy similar to him in the long run and it will be extremely counter-productive.