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Report: Brandon Bass to opt out of Lakers contract

Brandon Bass, Odell Beckham

Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Bass, left, greets New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. prior to an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Friday, March 25, 2016, in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

AP

Brandon Bass – not 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.