|Brandon Bass wil opt out of his contract. (Getty Images)|
CSNNE.com reports that Bass, a 6-foot-8 forward, has decided to opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Bass had a player option for the 2012-13 season worth $4.25 million.
Bass's agent tells the website that his client is looking for a multi-year deal after stepping in to a starting role after being traded to the Celtics by the Orlando Magic prior to the 2011-12 season.
However, all indications are that Bass is hoping to return to the Celtics with a multi-year deal.The Celtics were eliminated by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals in seven games. After the Game 7 loss at AmericanAirlines Arena, Bass told reporters that he enjoyed his season in Boston and wanted to return with the team.
"Oh absolutely," his agent Tony Dutt said when asked if Boston was his client's first choice. "Without question, he would love to go back."
WEEI.com has the quotes.
"I do," he said when asked if he thought he would be back. "I would love to be back here. The fans here are unbelievable. For any player, this organization is the organization that you want to play for."Boston, of course, has higher priorities, namely the future of unrestricted free agents Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. The Celtics are really at a fork in the road: they either find a way to convince the two future Hall of Famers to keep the band together or they embark on a totally new roster course, looking to acquire as much talent as possible with which to surround Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce.
Bass added, "This group here was like family. For the first time in a long time it felt like family. We had fights, we had ups, we had downs but at the end of the day we fought for each other. I'm just grateful to be a part of this group."
At times, especially during the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers, Bass was a difference-making presence for the Celtics. Should the Celtics pull off the comeback tour, it would be hard for any player, especially one who saw major time with Boston's excellent core, to walk away from the possibility of another deep playoff run.
If Boston splinters, though, they will face a difficult decision: Is Bass, not a top-shelf talent, worth paying to retain as a building block or is his money better spent elsewhere? There's a value to continuity and Bass would represent that if Garnett and Allen both depart, as the rest of Boston's roster, with the exception of Rondo, Pierce, Avery Bradley and Mickael Pietrus, were merely bit players.
Bass, 27, averaged 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Celtics this season.