With the NBA trade deadline just weeks away, there have been many rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers and the multiple veterans they have on the roster. Of those players, arguably the most intriguing is Brandon Bass.
Bass has shown himself to be a solid role player for the Lakers and he is only making $3 million this season with a player option for next year.
It is that player option that could make the difference in Bass being moved as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reports that he would have more value if he chose to opt-in right now:
League sources peg Bass the same way they do (Kevin) Martin. If he’d opt-in to his deal, he’d have more value and be easier to move as $3.1 million is a pretty favorable cap number next season – especially for a playoff team looking to bolster its bench with a proven veteran NBA big man.
Kyler added that Bass opting in could allow the Lakers to take in more in a potential deal:
It’s the uncertainty of the option that alters the math, and like Martin there is a different set of suitors for the ending contract guy and the opt-in guy, with the teams seeking the opt-in willing to offer more value in a deal.
The question for Bass is a simple one: does he believe he can make more than the $3.1 million he is owed next year in free agency? If he believes that to be the case, then he probably would opt-out and with the salary cap set to jump this summer, he very well could.
As this season goes on, however, Bass could be phased out of the rotation as the team looks to give more playing time to their young players and sitting on the bench would not help Bass’ value in free agency. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers ultimately make a move, but Bass’ decision or non-decision could play a major role in whether something happens.