Brandon Bass

Brandon Bass To Play In China

Veteran forward Brandon Bass has agreed to a $2MM offer to play in China next season, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Bass will sign with the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association.

The 32-year-old spent last season with the Clippers, appearing in 52 games as a reserve and averaging 5.6 points in about 11 minutes per night. He has also played for the Hornets, Mavericks, Magic, Celtics, and Lakers in a 12-year NBA career.

Bass made a little more than $1.55MM with the Clippers last year, but hasn’t received an attractive offer since entering free agency. Because the Chinese season ends before the NBA season, he will be eligible to return to the league in March or April.

Brandon Bass Searches For New Opportunity

Brandon Bass didn’t get as many minutes as he was hoping for during the 2016/17 season with the Clippers, but he believes the lack of playing time allowed him to remain fresh throughout the season and beyond, as he tells Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

“I feel better than I did in past years,” said Bass. “Since I didn’t play much last year, I feel even fresher. Once the season was over with, I never stopped training. I’ve shot over 6,000 threes. I’ve taken all those threes just to add on to my game. All I need is an opportunity to what I do.”

Bass, who remains a free agent, insists he’s better than he was during his four-year Celtics stint where he helped the team compete for championship nearly every season. He understands how the new NBA has emphasized the three-point shot. The LSU product has shot just a total of 58 three-pointers—making only 12 of them—from behind the arc in his 12-year career. He’s worked hard to reinvent his game by adding the long-range shot to his arsenal.

“The perception is I’m not better than I was in Boston with the Big Three, and I’m a better player than that today. I added more range. I’m a better defender,” Bass said.

Washburn argues that Bass could become a victim of the NBA’s shrinking middle class. Most teams have already spent their remaining cap space, which could lead Bass to settle for a minimum salary arrangement.

Bass, who sported a 19.7 player efficiency rating in 21.6 minutes per game last season, should be able to contribute as a rotation player on the right team. It’ll be a matter of finding the right fit.

Tell us which team should give Bass an opportunity to play his 13th NBA season. Take to the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions!

Free Agent Rumors: Gay, OKC, Wolves, Hawks

Free agent forward Rudy Gay will hold meetings with potential suitors in Austin, Texas this weekend, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). The Thunder have long been rumored to have interest in Gay, and Wojnarowski notes that Oklahoma City continues to view Gay as a potential fit on its roster.

In addition to Gay, Blake Griffin has long been considered a probable 2017 free agent target for the Thunder, and in the wake of Wednesday’s Chris Paul trade, Royce Young of ESPN.com (Twitter link) wonders if OKC likes its chances of landing Griffin any more. The Thunder won’t have the cap space to sign Griffin outright, but could make a sign-and-trade work. Still, as Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes, Griffin would have to want to play in OKC, and there has been little indication of that so far.

Here are a few more free agent rumors and notes from around the NBA:

  • Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link) identifies Mike Dunleavy Jr. as a potential free agent that will be on the Timberwolves‘ radar, noting that Minnesota needs shooting and Dunleavy has played for Tom Thibodeau before. Dunleavy technically remains under contract with the Hawks, but his 2017/18 salary features only a small partial guarantee, so it’s possible he’ll be waived soon.
  • Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor views Jimmy Butler as the sort of player capable of helping the Wolves attract notable free agents to Minnesota, per Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune. The club is believed to be in the market for a free agent point guard, so Butler’s influence may be put to the test very soon.
  • The Hawks have many players eligible for free agency this weekend, and may explore the market for outside targets, but new general manager Travis Schlenk doesn’t expect the team to rush to get anything done at 12:01am on July 1, as Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details.
  • After missing the entire 2016/17 season, free agent point guard Mo Williams is working toward a possible NBA return, agent Raymond Brothers tells Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Wojnarowski adds that Brothers is now representing free agent forward Brandon Bass as well.

Pacific Notes: Griffin, West, Clarkson

The Clippers confirmed Blake Griffin‘s knee surgery in a press release posted this afternoon on the team’s website. The operation to remove loose bodies from his right knee will be performed Tuesday, and he is expected to be out of action three to six weeks. Griffin is averaging 21.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists through 26 games.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • L.A. is in better shape to withstand Griffin’s absence than it was a year ago, contends Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. When Griffin was sidelined with a broken hand and a quad injury after Christmas of 2015, Paul Pierce took his place in the starting lineup and DeAndre Jordan assumed a larger role in the offense, averaging 14.1 points and 14.3 rebounds in the games without Griffin. The Clippers signed free agents Brandon Bass and Marreese Speights during the offseason, either of whom could start at power forward. Also, Pierce is still around, Luc Mbah a Moute can guard bigger forwards and Austin Rivers could be moved into the starting lineup.
  • The operation may impact Griffin’s future earnings, suggests ESPN’s Kevin Pelton. Under the tentative CBA, Griffin needs to make an all-NBA team at the end of the season to qualify for the newly created designated veteran player exception. An absence of three to six weeks will certainly reduce his chances. Players who qualify can earn up to 35% of the cap if they remain with their current team. Griffin would be limited to 30% if he doesn’t qualify, which translates to about $30MM over a five-year contract.
  • The Warriors’ David West will be out for a while with a hip pointer, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. The veteran forward underwent an MRI on Friday after suffering the injury in a game last week. Golden State had been concerned that the injury was something more serious.
  • Jordan Clarkson didn’t complain about moving to the bench after signing a four-year, $50MM contract with the Lakers, but he hasn’t thrived in his new role, writes Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. Clarkson, whose starting job was taken by Nick Young, has shot just 39.8% over his last 10 games. “Coach wants me to be aggressive,” Clarkson said. “That’s what I try to do every night when I’m out there on the floor. But at the same time, I have to figure out what’s a good shot and a bad shot.”

Western Notes: Barnes, Bogut, Clippers

Harrison Barnes is competing in his first Olympics, but he had plenty of offseason excitement before the Summer Games started, writes Joe Rexrode of The Des Moines Register. After being a key part of a Warriors team that set a league record with 73 wins in a season, Barnes found himself cut free when Golden State needed his cap room to sign Kevin Durant. Barnes wound up inking a four-year $94MM deal with the Mavericks, who plan to make him one of the focal points of their offense. “I think Harrison wants an opportunity to go to a team and be the guy,” said fellow Team USA member and former Warriors teammate Draymond Green, “and he has that opportunity, which I’m not mad at him about. He already has a championship, and that’s what he’ll be remembered as. He’s a champion, and no one can ever take that away.”

There’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Mavericks didn’t try to stop newly acquired center Andrew Bogut from playing in the Olympics, according to Kareem Copeland of The Associated Press. Bogut, who came to Dallas in a trade last month, is still recovering from a hyperextended knee he suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. At age 31, Bogut believes this is his last shot at the Olympics and he feared the Mavericks might ask him to sit out and rest the knee, but he said the team approved as long as he was healthy. “I was like, I don’t want it to end that way where I’m just sitting at home with ice on my knee if I can give it a crack,” Bogut said after leading Australia past France today. “I didn’t want it taken away that easily. I said I’ll give it a crack up until this day. If it wasn’t right yesterday, I’d put my hand up and I’m on a flight back home.”
  • The Clippers became hard-capped over the summer, but were able to rebuild their bench by adding several veterans on team-friendly contracts, writes Bobby Marks of The Vertical. In his offseason review, Marks notes that Marreese Speights, Raymond Felton, Alan Anderson and Brandon Bass all signed with L.A. for the minimum, allowing the Clippers to add depth at an affordable price. The team is currently $1.4MM above the luxury tax with 15 guaranteed contracts and will face a repeater tax if doesn’t drop below the threshold by the season’s end.

Clippers Sign Brandon Bass

JULY 19: The Clippers have officially signed Bass, according to the team’s website.

JULY 16: The Clippers have reached an agreement to sign Brandon Bass, sources tell Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). It’ll be a one-year deal, presumably for the minimum, which is worth roughly $1.55MM, according to Dan Woike of the OC Register (Twitter link). Charania adds (full-length piece) the the Spurs had strong interest in bringing Bass aboard.

Bass spent last season with the Lakers, accumulating 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds off the bench. He turned down a player option worth $3.135MM last month in order to become a free agent. At the time, Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors speculated that the Clippers could be a possible landing spot.

The Clippers already added Marreese Speights earlier in the month, so they now have plenty of veteran depth in the frontcourt behind DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin

Pacific Notes: Durant, Bass, Jenkins, Patterson

Kevin Durant hasn’t promised Warriors officials that he will remain with the team beyond next season, Golden State president Rick Welts said in an interview on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. Durant, who signed a one-year contract with a player option, will be free to test the market again next summer. “I think the hope and expectation is there’s a business reason for doing that more than there is a basketball reason for doing that,” Welts said of Durant, who will be eligible for a higher percentage of the salary cap next summer as a 10-year veteran. “We’ve got to be a place that is as good as he thought it was when he selected the Warriors over the other options that he had. I think we’re going through a really interesting time in our league. We’re all trying to figure out what the new world is going to look like.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Representatives for Brandon Bass contacted the Celtics before he reached an agreement with the Clippers, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Bass spent four seasons in Boston before signing with the Lakers last summer.
  • The SunsJohn Jenkins hopes he improved his chances to stay in the NBA by extending the guarantee date on his contract until October, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Jenkins, who was claimed off waivers from the Mavericks in February, is owed $1.05MM in 2016-17 and $1.18MM in 2017-18, but both years are non-guaranteed. “I’m good here,” Jenkins said. “I love the vision. I love the direction. When I heard [the extension] may happen, I wanted it to happen. My agent loved the idea.”
  • Lamar Patterson is hoping for a better opportunity at playing time with the Kings than he had with the Hawks, according to Dan Lovi of NBA.com. Sacramento claimed Patterson off waivers Friday, inheriting his $874,636 salary for next season. The 6’5″ shooting guard appeared in just 35 games for Atlanta during his rookie season and spent much of the year in the D-League. “When one door closes another one opens and it’s just a process you got to go through,” said Patterson. “I’m going to enjoy it, I’m going to work my butt off.”

Free Agent Notes: Rondo, Wolves, Gasol

The Pelicans could still make a push for signing Rajon Rondo even after securing an agreement with E’Twaun Moore, John Reid of The Times Picayune writes. Reid acknowledges that there are other teams in the mix for Rondo and New Orleans appears to be a long-shot. There were conflicting reports on Friday as to whether the team was interested in Rondo.

Reid confirms an earlier report that the Pelicans were interested in Jeremy Lin, but the point guard’s price was too steep for the team. Lin signed a three-year, $36MM deal with Brooklyn on Friday.

Here’s more from around the league during this crazy start to free agency:

And-Ones: Parsons, Humphries, Bass, Howard

Unrestricted free agent Kris Humphries, who split time last season between the Wizards, Suns and Hawks, is one of the players the Celtics are considering making a run at this offseason, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com relays (on Twitter). The Hawks, Nets, Wolves, Spurs and Hornets are also interested in the big man, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets.

With free agency now underway, here’s the latest happening from around the league:

  • The Trail Blazers intend to make a strong push to ink both Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard this offseason, Jason Quick of CSNNW.com tweets. Parsons and Howard were former teammates with the Rockets and have remained friends, the scribe notes.
  • The Hawks made a strong impression on Howard during their meeting with him today, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets. The scribe adds that the possibility of D12 joining Atlanta is gaining traction.
  • The Warriors are looking to bolster their bench and have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent Andrew Nicholson, who spent the past four seasons with the Magic, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter link).
  • Former Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt is joining Rick Carlisle‘s staff with the Mavericks, Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com tweets.
  • Former Nets forward Sergey Karasev signed a three-year deal with the Russian club BC Zenit Saint Petersburg, the team announced (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The 22-year-old made 40 appearances for Brooklyn this season and averaged 2.4 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.0 per contest while shooting .405/.297/.929 from the field.
  • Former Wizards forward Chris Singleton has signed with the Greek club Panathinaikos, international journalist David Pick relays (via Twitter). Singleton last appeared in the NBA during the 2013/14 season.
  • The Wolves have reached out to free agent power forward Brandon Bass to gauge interest, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN tweets.
  • With the Pacers reportedly reaching an agreement with Al Jefferson, unrestricted free agent big man Ian Mahinmi won’t be returning to the team next season, Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star relays (via Twitter).
  • The Mavericks have no immediate plans to target Bismack Biyombo or Howard after missing out on Hassan Whiteside, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link).

Western Rumors: Durant, Duncan, Bass, Wolves

Within a piece on Kevin Durant‘s free agency, Royce Young of ESPN.com passes along a handful of interesting tidbits, writing that Durant has privately “raved to friends” about newly-acquired Thunder guard Victor Oladipo. Young also suggests that, after finishing this past season with the NBA’s third-highest payroll, the Thunder still “have plenty of cash stashed away to keep on paying.”

According to Young, Durant built a strong connection with Billy Donovan during the coach’s first year in Oklahoma City, which is a positive sign for the Thunder. As Young explains, Durant is a big believer in the importance of coaching, and has wanted the sort of long-term relationship with a coach that Tim Duncan has with Gregg Popovich. Donovan – whom the Spurs previously considered as a possible eventual successor to Popovich, according to Young – is a candidate to become Durant’s Popovich, assuming KD remains with the Thunder.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Speaking of Duncan, his cap number will increase to about $6.4MM in 2016/17, since he cashed in on an incentive bonus worth $750K after the Spurs won 62+ games, per Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Duncan had previously been set to earn $5,643,750 on the player option he exercised this week, but the bonus should increase his salary to $6,393,750. The future Hall-of-Famer is still debating whether or not to continue his playing career.
  • As the Timberwolves survey the market for free agent bigs, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Brandon Bass is another potential target on the team’s radar.
  • The Trail Blazers have amended the language in Cliff Alexander‘s contract, moving his salary guarantee date from June 30th to July 25th, reports Jason Quick of CSNNW.com (via Twitter). The move will allow Portland to delay its decision on Alexander until after the free agent period — the team could cut him or guarantee his salary later, depending on how the summer plays out.
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