What About Brandon Bass? | Magic Basketball

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Jul 02

What About Brandon Bass?

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Via George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel:

What happens if the [Orlando] Magic trade Marcin Gortat, presumably to get an upgrade at power forward and move Rashard Lewis to small forward?

Who the heck is going to be the Magic backup center?

It’s not going to be Daniel Orton. He was barely a presence at the University of Kentucky last season. He is looking at “redshirt” year in the NBA. Adonal Foyle is likely to retire.

I don’t see anyone who fits the bill, with the possible exception of Brad Miller, who could command Orlando’s mid-level exception. The Boston Celtics are reportedly targeting Miller to replace Rasheed Wallace.

The answer to that question might be Brandon Bass, believe it or not, the diminutive power forward that received little playing time this year yet ironically won over the hearts of Magic fans in the process.

Before arriving to the Orlando Magic as a free agent last season, Bass played back-up center for the Dallas Mavericks and the arrangement worked out okay. Or as well as you could expect it to work out at least, having an undersized power forward play at center. Part of the reason that Bass can get away with playing the center position is that he makes up for his lack of height with his athleticism and strength. Bass is just as strong as other centers but more importantly, he’s quicker than them which can partially make up the fact that they have a size advantage over him.

But as was the case with the Mavericks, Bass gets in trouble defensively when trying to execute defensive schemes and rotations. This is not a new development by any means for Bass, who has struggled on defense the past several years. Plus, Bass is a below-average defensive rebounder — his defensive rebound percentage of 12.6 percent was less than the league average of 14.4 percent this year. If Bass were to play center and let’s say, Rashard Lewis, was at power forward, the Magic would get pummeled on the boards. The only way Orlando could alleviate the problem, somewhat, would to have a strong rebounder like Matt Barnes at small forward, who could do his best to make up for the discrepancy. However, it’s looking less likely that Barnes will return to the Magic, so that option may not be available.

There’s no question that Bass would have his advantages on offense, given that his mid-range shooting is his greatest strength as a player and he also does well with offensive rebounds. Yet his weaknesses with defending, where he acts more on instinct than anything else, and rebounding the basketball undermine Bass’ ability to play more than spot minutes at center.

If Marcin Gortat is traded, Diaz’s question is a valid one.

5 comments
MagicBasketballOnline.com
MagicBasketballOnline.com

Everyone's favorite player is always the backup quarterback. With that being said, I am looking forward to the advances he makes in the second year with the team.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Will

I've spoken with Bass many times and he's a very soft-spoken individual, a professional, and a great person in the locker room. I think, depending on what happens with Gortat and company, Bass may have a future with the Magic. Especially if the decision is made to feature him more in the rotation next season.

@Eyriq

I don't know about that. Orton needs some development, similar to what happened with Gortat when he signed with Orlando.

@Frank

Just a coincidence. There's no underlying meaning to the picture I used.

Frank
Frank

Love that the photo you chose was Speights putting in a layup as Bass just watches.

Eyriq
Eyriq

Eh, just throw Orton out there, he'll swim.

Will
Will

Yeah, I'm one of the fans who loves the guy and I while I saw room for improvement for sure (and Eddy, you pointed out many of them), I also felt he wasn't given enough oppurtunity on either the Magic's roster or the Mavericks roster to improve those areas since he was faced with such little playing time.

I met Bass here in Phoenix and for such an intimidating guy, he is a gentle giant. Great guy. Does that make him a great basketball player? No. . .but I think a lot us fans liked him because he endeared himself to us. That's just me. I would like to keep him and figure him into the rotation a lot more. If he doesn't pan out after maybe some starts or a 7th/8th man position then maybe he's limited.