Brandon Bass just wants to play, whether or not that is in Orlando


Thumbnail image for Bass_dunk.jpgBrandon Bass has a lot of skills as a power forward. Just not ones that fit what Orlando wants to do.

Bass is a banger inside, an in-the-paint guy. Orlando uses Dwight Howard for that. They need fours who can stretch the floor, like Rashard Lewis. So while Bass kept doing the things he does the way he does them last season, his minutes dropped to 13 a game, that in the 50 games he got in.

Bass told FanHouse this year he wants to play. He’d like that to be in Orlando, but he wants to see the court more than stay with the Magic.

“I think they’ll do the right thing, whatever is the right thing — either play me next season or send me somewhere else. That’s what I’m hoping,” Bass told FanHouse earlier this week following the Summer Groove charity game in Miami. “I won’t go through what I did last season.”

“I’m one of the hardest working guys on the team, so hopefully I’ll have a bigger role next season,” Bass said. “Right now, I’m just working on my game, trying to get better. I don’t worry about things like trades. I won’t go through again what I did last season.”

Dwight Howard is the man inside in Orlando, as it should be. You need a backup inside presence, too. But the Magic got that in Martin Gortat, the backup center to Howard. That leaves Bass on the outside looking in,

The Magic looked at trading Bass this summer, but didn’t find a deal they liked. If Matt Barnes leaves, they may be able to use him to find a perimeter defender they like.

Or, they could just play him.

But the bigger question becomes, if he didn’t fit the system, why sign him in the first place? He’s a good player, but you have to consider fit.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.