But since trading Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics have gotten younger and worse. Bass – 29 and making $6.9 million in the final year of his contract – no longer fits so well in Boston.
Bass has remained professional and productive amid the losing. He’s averaging 8.3 points on 52.8 percent shooting and 3.4 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game.
Scouts and opposing front-office types have begun to speak and inquire about the 29-year-old forward, a practice that’s generally a precursor to discussing a trade. Danny Ainge could not be reached on whether teams have called about Bass — not that he would say anyway — but it certainly makes sense.
“If there’s a team competing for a championship and they could steal him, that’d be big,” said Rajon Rondo.
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At 4-8, the Celtics are only one game out of playoff position in the lowly East. It’d be more difficult to make a postseason push if they trade Bass for a draft pick or younger player who isn’t as good right now.
Before making a deal, Boston must determine its priorities for the season. If contending for a playoff berth is the goal, Bass should probably stay. If rebuilding takes precedent, a win-now team could certainly make better use of Bass before his contract expires.
Given the Celtics’ recent moves, they seem content to rebuild, but the historic awfulness of this Eastern Conference might cause them to re-think that strategy.
Either way, Bass definitely fits the profile of a tradable asset.