Report: Brandon Bass to opt out of Lakers contract

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Brandon Bassnot the best judge of ability.

But I think he got this one right.

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

Bass would’ve made $3,135,000 by opting in. With the salary cap skyrocketing, he’ll probably land a higher salary for next season. Bass, who turns 31 this month, also has a chance to lock in a long-term deal.

He picked the right time to have a productive season, quietly making some nice contributions for the woebegone Lakers.

Bass often played center, which helped him get to the rim more often for high-percentage shots. He rolled all the way to the basket on pick-and-rolls after picking-and-popping more in previous years. He posted up. He cut to the rim. He got out in transition. He offensively rebounded. It’s great activity level for a backup big. Bass even added another element as a distributor. The Lakers scored 8.3 more points per 100 possessions with him on the court than off.

Bass’ lack of rim protection would hold him back in a larger role, but playing backup center in the shrinking NBA worked for him.

There’s a risk – à la Jeremy Lin – the Lakers’ stink sticks on him, and Bass has trouble securing a larger deal. Teams should be wary of the competition level in Lakers games, which featured opponents who knew they could play down a level (and maybe go out in Los Angeles the night before) and plenty of garbage time.

Still, Bass has a good chance of finding a better contract.

The Lakers, in a market that draws stars, probably don’t mind the extra cap room, either. Cap space goes further in Los Angeles.