On a Los Angeles Lakers team with a number of inconsistent young players, veteran power forward Brandon Bass stood out as one of the most reliable players on the roster.
Whether playing out of position at center or at his normal power forward spot, the Lakers could always count on Bass to play hard, rebound, and knock down open shots. As an 11-year veteran, however, it likely hurt Bass to be playing on a 17 win Lakers team.
Bass has said previously that he was unsure whether or not he would pick up his player option this off-season, but according to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com Bass will decline the option, making him an unrestricted free agent:
Lakers F Brandon Bass to decline 2016-17 player option, become unrestricted free agent this summer, league source informs @clevelanddotcom.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) April 20, 2016
Bass’ decision isn’t too surprising as his option was only for $3.1 million next season and it is very likely that he could make more than that as a free agent this summer, especially with the salary cap set to rise.
Declining his option doesn’t mean that Bass wouldn’t return to the Lakers, and he has said that he enjoys Los Angeles, but he wants to explore his options and in this financial landscape it makes sense for him to do so.
Bass’ numbers were down this season, averaging only 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds, but he shot a career-high 54.9 percent from the field. Players like Bass, who are athletic, play hard, and hit jumpers will always be a commodity in the NBA.