Brandon Bass Expecting Either Bigger Role or New Team Next Season
This is just a gentle reminder.
"I think they'll do the right thing, whatever is the right thing -- either play me next season or send me somewhere else. That's what I'm hoping,'' Bass told FanHouse earlier this week following the Summer Groove charity game in Miami. "I won't go through what I did last season.''
Bass played very little last season, despite being signed last summer to a four-year, $16 million contract, expecting to become a consistently-used power forward alongside center Dwight Howard.
Instead, he went to the end of the bench, behind starter Rashard Lewis, and behind backup Ryan Anderson, both good shooters in an offensive system in which Bass was ill-suited to play.
Bass played in only 50 of the 82 games. He averaged 5.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 13 minutes per game. He played big minutes in the first 10 games when Lewis was serving a suspension. He played significant minutes in 11 consecutive games late in the season. But in between, his playing time was sporadic at best.
He played in only seven of the 14 playoffs games, averaging only six minutes.
"I expect things to be better for me next season,'' he said. "I felt like I deserved more of an opportunity than I received last season. Look at the series (against Boston when the Magic lost). I was just what was missing. I respect Coach Stan (Van Gundy) and the way he likes to play, but sometimes you have to try something different.''
The Magic have built their team around Howard in the low post, and have surrounded him with good outside shooters. It was a system that worked well much of last season.
They won 59 games, swept through the first two rounds of the playoffs, but they were treated rudely by the Boston Celtics in the conference final. The Celtics bottled up Howard inside with center Kendrick Perkins, and they also bottled up the outside shooting. They overpowered the Magic, something Bass believes he could have helped prevent.
Bass was made available by the Magic in several trade discussions this summer, but they found no takers. The Magic also have a well-paid backup center (Marcin Gortat) who also is hoping for playing time next season at power forward.
"I'm one of the hardest working guys on the team, so hopefully I'll have a bigger role next season,'' Bass said. "Right now, I'm just working on my game, trying to get better. I don't worry about things like trades. I won't go through again what I did last season.''