Brandon Bass

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 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 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 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 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 relays (ESPN Now link).

Western Rumors: Durant, Duncan, Bass, Wolves

Within a piece on Kevin Durant‘s free agency, Royce Young of 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 (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 (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.

Brandon Bass Declines Player Option

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.

Brandon Bass To Opt Out From Lakers

Brandon Bass will turn down his $3.135MM player option for next season and become a free agent this summer, a league source tells Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). A formal decision isn’t due until June 21st, but it appears the Lakers power forward intends to hit the open market.

The 11th-year veteran experienced statistical declines as he assumed a bench role in L.A. this season after having spent four years primarily as a starter for the Celtics. His 7.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 20.3 minutes per game were his fewest in each category since the 2009/10 season. Still, he spoke fondly in March of his role as a veteran mentor and won praise from coach Byron Scott, whose chances of remaining with the team appear to be improving.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said in December that he remains high on Bass, who said shortly before then that he’d planned to play out the rest of his career with Boston until the C’s signed Amir Johnson instead last summer. The Tony Dutt client turned to the Lakers, signing a two-year, $6.135MM contract in July. The Lakers reportedly made Bass available for trades over the winter, but offers were unappealing.

Johnson’s contract for next season is non-guaranteed and Jared Sullinger is a restricted free agent, so the Celtics stand to enter next season thinner at the power forward position. Bass could serve as a mentor for Jordan Mickey, last year’s 33rd pick, but it remains to be seen if Boston will pursue a reunion with Bass.

The Lakers liked Bass’ contract, and with 2014 No. 7 pick Julius Randle still in need of development, it’s conceivable L.A. will give Bass a decent offer to re-sign. Still, he turns 31 later this month, so he probably wants either a short-term deal with a team that would offer more playing time and a chance to up his value or a long-term contract that would secure his future as he ages.

Where do you think Brandon Bass ends up playing next season? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Lakers Rumors: Bryant, Scott, Clarkson, Young

After Kobe Bryant gave the NBA an unforgettable 60-point sendoff Wednesday, the Lakers faced the first day of the post-Kobe era, writes Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News“Sometimes you cannot help but think about it,” coach Byron Scott said of his 17-65 team. “When you have the type of season that you have, changes will be made.” The changes may start with Scott, who has one year left on his contract, although Medina says the organization recognizes the difficult position he faced with trying to balance a young roster and Bryant’s retirement tour.

The Lakers will have an estimated $55MM in cap space this summer, with much of that being opened by the end of Bryant’s $25MM contract and the expiration of Roy Hibbert‘s $15.5MM deal. The only guaranteed contracts for next year belong to D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr., Anthony Brown, Nick Young and Lou Williams. The Lakers would like to keep restricted free agent Jordan Clarkson, and Brandon Bass may be back with a $3.1MM player option. More difficult decisions surround Hibbert, Metta World Peace, Marcelo Huertas, Tarik Black, Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre.

There’s more out of Los Angeles:

  • Clarkson believes he will be a Laker again next season, Medina tweets. Clarkson made $845,059 this year, and L.A. must make a $3.2MM qualifying offer to retain the right to match competing bids through the Gilbert Arenas Provision. “I feel confident I’ll be back here,” Clarkson said in today’s exit interview. “I want to be here.”
  • Two other free agents also prefer to remain Lakers, Medina relays on Twitter. “This is a great place for me and I love it here,” said Sacre, who made $981,348 this season in the final year of his contract (link). “I’d love to be a part of this process of flipping it around,” said Kelly, who earned more than $1.724MM this season. “But we’ll see (link).”
  • Young may not be brought back despite having two years and more than $11MM left on his contract, but he understands the need for changes, Medina writes in a separate story. “You never know what’s gonna happen, but you know something’s got to happen,” Young said. “I know the Lakers are gonna make decisions for the Lakers. We did win 17 games after all.” L.A. expected to try to deal Young in the offseason and may seek to negotiate a buyout if trade talks are unsuccessful.

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 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.

L.A. Notes: Buss, Scott, Stephenson

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss further clarified her interpretation of the timeline for a return to contention that her brother, Lakers executive VP of basketball operations Jim Buss, imposed on himself in 2014. Jim Buss said he would step down if the team wasn’t back in contention within three years, and since then, it’s become clear that this has implications for GM Mitch Kupchak too, writes Sam Amick of USA Today, who spoke with Jeanie Buss in a podcast.

“I think that [Jim] was very sure of himself when he promised that timeline, and I think that he has everything he needs to fulfill that promise of getting the team back competitive,” Jeanie Buss said. “And when I say competitive, it’s competing for the Western Conference Finals, which would mean at least second round [of the playoffs] – if not more. … They have earned the right to take the time that they’ve needed to put together what they want to have out on the court, and if they can’t do that then we have to reexamine how things are going.”

Kupchak makes most of the Lakers player personnel decisions with plenty of latitude from Jim Buss, who has the final say over basketball operations, notes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). See more on both teams from L.A.:

  • Jeanie Buss told Amick she thinks she’s spoken with Byron Scott “maybe three times” since the Lakers hired him as coach in 2014 but said that she’s nonetheless supportive of him. Scott’s employment beyond the end of the season appears to be in jeopardy.
  • The Lakers are fond of Lou Williams, Brandon Bass and their contracts, Pincus tweets. They were reportedly available on the trade market before the deadline.
  • Lance Stephenson was an awkward fit on the court for the Clippers, but he had a strong desire to fix that and was starting to make progress on that front before the trade that sent him to Memphis, notes Dan Woike of the Orange County Register. The Clippers would seek to re-sign him this summer if the Grizzlies turn down his team option for next season, one Clippers staffer told Woike.
  • Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers didn’t hesitate to give up the lottery-protected 2019 first-rounder that’s going to Memphis as part of the Jeff Green/Stephenson swap, notes Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times“That one wasn’t a tough one because the way we looked at it was it’s protected,” Rivers said, “so if we’re bad enough to be a lottery team we get the pick. That wasn’t that awful for us.”

Western Rumors: Anderson, Rockets, Lakers

The price New Orleans has set for Ryan Anderson is “exorbitant,” tweets Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. The Cavs were one of several teams linked to having interest in acquiring Anderson, who is set to be a free agent this summer. Anderson is expected to attract a salary starting at $16MM-$18MM when he hits the market this summer. It’s interesting to note how much the Pelicans are asking for Anderson because they aren’t even sure if they can keep him beyond this season.

Here is more trade deadline news from the Western Conference: