Western Notes: Bass, Watson, Lee

Lakers big man Brandon Bass is unsure if he’ll exercise his player option worth $3,135MM for 2016/17, but he did note that he’s enjoyed acting as a mentor to the team’s younger players, relays Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Bass told Medina. “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.

Coach Byron Scott was effusive in his praise for the veteran, telling Medina, “I love Brandon Bass. I love his work ethic. I love his professionalism. I love his attitude. I love that you know when you put him in the game, you know what you’re going to get.” The 30-year-old has made 60 appearances for the Lakers this season and is averaging 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 20.1 minutes per outing.

Here’s the latest from out west:

  • Suns interim coach Earl Watson credits his time spent in the Spurs organization as a D-League assistant with preparing him for the challenge of leading Phoenix, Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News writes. Watson also offered thanks to San Antonio assistant GM Scott Layden, who provided him with his first coaching opportunity, Sorensen adds. “Coach Layden is why I ended up in San Antonio,” Watson said. “It’s amazing how people you meet along the way, how they give you opportunities later in life and it can turn out to be the greatest opportunity ever. If I don’t go to San Antonio with coach Layden I don’t know if I become a coach that quickly. I learned a lot in San Antonio from coach Layden bringing me in.
  • David Lee appears rejuvenated now that he’s a member of the Mavs and is receiving regular playing time, Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group writes. The 32-year-old is averaging 11.9 points and 8.3 rebounds in 12 appearances for Dallas. Lee is under contract for next season, though his $2,502,805 is non-guaranteed.
  • The Trail Blazers have benefited from the presence of Gerald Henderson, who has not only added some scoring pop off the team’s bench but has also emerged as one of the team’s most vocal leaders, Jason Quick of CSNNW.com writes. “He is one of those guys when it really gets tough out there, he’s one of those guys you know you can count on,” point guard Damian Lillard said of Henderson. “When the game gets a little rough, the other team gets going a little bit and you are up against it, some guys get quiet. Some guys shy away from it. But he got louder in the huddle.’’ Henderson will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

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