Brandon Bass will decline his player option 2012/13 and become an unrestricted free agent, agent Tony Dutt tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. However, Bass made the decision in hopes of signing a long-term deal to remain with the Celtics, according to Dutt.
"Oh absolutely," Dutt said when asked if Boston was his client's first choice in free agency. "Without question, he would love to go back."
Bass, who set career highs in points (12.5), rebounds (6.2), and minutes (31.7) per game this season, would have earned $4.25MM had he exercised his option for 2012/13. Blakely isn't sure exactly what sort of deal the forward will be seeking in free agency, but estimates that it will take something close to the four-year, $26MM contract Glen Davis landed in last offseason's sign-and-trade with the Magic.
The Celtics have about $30.5MM in guaranteed salary on their books for 2012/13, so even though they have a number of free agents, including Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, there should be plenty of room to bring back Bass.