In the midst of all of the LeBron James hysteria this week, the Boston Celtics were quietly pursuing some moves out of the spotlight. On Wednesday, they agreed to a 3-team deal with the Cavaliers and Nets that netted them a first round pick and center Tyler Zeller. Later in the week, Danny Ainge also considered dealing away power forward Brandon Bass, according to a tidbit from Zach Lowe of Grantland in a column he penned about James.
James held up NBA business for 11 days while he decided his future. Teams were angry. Some had assets that evaporated during the wait, including the Warriors, who considered Brandon Bass and other names in exchange for a trade exception that expired (Thursday) at midnight.
A couple important things we can gather from Lowe’s report. First, we did receive any details about the potential swap but it’s safe to make a couple assumptions. The Warriors are a contending team so their preference probably wasn’t going to give up anything of value on their current roster for Bass. They have a couple young players on the roster (Festus Ezeli, Nemanja Nedovic) that each earn short money that may have interested a rebuilding Boston team.
The Celtics also may have been looking for yet another first round pick from Golden State. The Warriors dealt their 2014 and 2017 first round picks to Utah last year, but Boston could have asked for a 2015 first round pick in the exchange.
Ultimately though, no deal was reached for Bass, who is set to earn $6.9 million next year in the final season of his three-year contract. That number would have fit nearly into the Warriors $7 million trade exception.
While no trade was made, Boston’s willingness to consider dealing their starting power forward should be noted. Bass is 29 and averaged 11.1 points and 5.7 rebounds a game for the Celtics last season. Given the team’s glut of young talent in the frontcourt with Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger, it’s no surprise that the team is looking to explore the market with Bass to add more assets to their arsenal.
The team won’t give Bass away, as his salary and production make him a good value, but this report may signal he’s probably not a part of the team’s long-term plans at the moment. As the offseason continues, Bass and Jeff Green are a couple players to continue watching as the Celtics hope to acquire some value for the veterans.