He spent the last year as a Laker, but now Brandon Bass has found a considerable upgrade--the Los Angeles Clippers. A former member of the Doc Rivers Boston Celtics, Bass is a energetic, hustling PF who has a solid mid-range game. Last year, for the Lakers, he played in 66 games off of the bench, averaging 20 minutes, 7.2 points, and 4.3 rebounds per game.
His one-year, veteran's minimum contract with the Clippers will be for $1,551,659.
Let's see the grades:
Lucas Hann: B+. I'm looking at each signing value-wise, which means setting aside my two biggest criticisms of this deal (marginalizing Brice Johnson, and not addressing the SF hole with roster spot 14). Value-wise... this is good, but not great. Bass doesn't excite me like Felton and Speights do, and if anything, I'm a little worried about his rebounding--just 7.5 per 36 minutes, and he hasn't broken 8 since he was 24 years old in 2009. Overall, he'll play solid defense and probably stay on the floor, especially if other players (Brice/Speights) end up in the doghouse for missing defensive rotations.
Jonathan Hu: B-. It's unclear what need he provides and he will likely get all the minor minutes otherwise available for Brice or Diamond to develop. This is reflective of Doc wanting veterans for all possible minutes. Still, Bass provides a rotational player that can contribute...so he's not a net negative.
Robert Flom: A. Bass' fit with the rest of the roster is a bit in question, as the Clippers already had a bevy of big men and Bass adds one more to the list. Again though, he has been a good player for several years: he can hit midrange jumpers, play some defense, and does the little things. As a single move, the Bass signing is terrific. He should give 10-12 solid minutes a night, and that's all that one can ask from a minimum player.
Adithya: B. I think Bass is a great fit as a third big next to Griffin and Jordan. However, the fit next to Speights is questionable (especially with Brice Johnson also on the roster), and you worry that one of them won't make it through the season.
Taylor Smith: A. I like Brandon Bass slightly more than Mo Speights, but they're also pretty similar players. Bass gives the Clips even more shooting from the forward spot and is also capable of banging around in the paint. He's a little too small to realistically give L.A. many minutes at center, but this is a good talent upgrade. Bass is better than Josh Smith and Jeff Ayres, each of whom served as the team's fourth big at times last season. Depth, depth, depth.