JUNE 22: Bass has now officially opted out of his deal with the Lakers, making him a free agent on July 1st, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
JUNE 16: Brandon Bass will turn down his $3.135MM player option for next season with the Lakers and become an unrestricted free agent, the player’s representatives have informed Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). The notion that the power forward would opt out and test the open market this offseason was first relayed by Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group back in April.
The 31-year-old saw his numbers decline as he assumed a bench role in L.A. this season after spending the previous four years primarily as a starter for the Celtics. His 7.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 20.3 minutes per game were his lowest in each category since the 2009/10 campaign. Still, Bass is a solid teammate who works hard and provides veteran leadership, all qualities the Lakers could benefit from by re-signing the big man this offseason. For what it’s worth, Bass noted that he hopes to remain with the franchise and that the feeling is mutual, Turner tweets.
Two strong possibilities for Bass next season if he doesn’t return to Lakers would be the Celtics and Clippers, though that is merely my speculation. Boston coach Brad Stevens said in December that he remained high on Bass, who said shortly before then that he’d planned to play out the rest of his career with Boston until the Celtics signed Amir Johnson instead last summer. The Tony Dutt client ended up with the Lakers, signing a two-year, $6.135MM contract in July. L.A. reportedly made Bass available for trades over the winter, but offers were said to be unappealing.