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It’s been a year since Brandon Bass was shipped out of Orlando for Glen Davis (and Von Wafer) and already the circumstances around the trade have changed dramatically.
Davis was acquired, in part, to appease Dwight Howard, who is no longer with the Magic. Davis and Howard are friends dating back to their AAU days. Last year, former general manager Otis Smith was criticized for giving Davis a four-year, $26 million contract opposite Bass’ expiring deal, but Bass then signed a three-year, $20 million deal with Boston during the offseason, which pretty much equates the salary both big men will be pocketing over the next three seasons.
This means that one year later, with a large enough sample size, we can make an attempt to ditch context and compare the players for nothing but their abilities.
On offense, Bass has adapted well to Boston’s Rajon-Rondo-and-long-twos system. This year, Bass takes half of his shots from 16-23 feet and makes 47 percent of them on 4.2 attempts per game, an elite figure that makes him a perfect outlet for Rondo’s penetration. Bass rarely strays away from this role — he rarely registers assists (“no pass Bass” anyone?) or turnovers and nearly 90 percent of those midrange jumpers are assisted.
Bass does gets to the rim just enough to force opponents to respect his driving skills and converts if he’s sent to the line, but at this point, offensively, he is the embodiment of a pseudo-stretch four. While there are strengths in that, it has also caused his efficiency to drop dramatically from his earlier days in Dallas and Orlando. After four straight seasons with a Player Efficiency Rating around 16 and a True Shooting percentage in the high 50s, those marks have dropped to 14.1 and 52.4 percent in his first Boston season and are now down to 11.4 and 49.6 percent so far this season.