Report: Brandon Bass opts out, hopes for Lakers return

A 17-win season can be described in many clichés. “Ups and downs,” “Can’t win them all,” or even, “This team makes me drink.” It’s hard to find bright spots when a team loses 65 games in one year, but they are there if you look hard enough.

After a tumultuous start to the season, Brandon Bass really played well later on in the year. As the Lakers’ veteran 4 and small-ball 5, Bass found a niche on the team.

He could step out and knock down 15-footers, but also showed off nice bounce from time to time with some big dunks in “the painted area” (S/O to Stu Lantz). Bass shot a career-high 54.9 percent coming off the bench for Byron Scott. Last offseason, Bass signed a two-year, $6.1 million deal, with a player option after the first year.

Bass has reportedly exercised that option, becoming an unrestricted free agent, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

This move was to be expected with the salary cap rising and Bass being slated to make only $3 million in the second year of his deal. However, Bass has expressed interest in returning to Los Angeles, given the Lakers want the power forward back.

Bass, 31, still has something to offer to this Lakers team. He’s got a reputation as a great locker room guy, and could prove helpful in the mentoring of Julius Randle and Larry Nance, Jr. for another season. An opportunity to play under Luke Walton could seem enticing, but would the Lakers find a role for Bass in the coming season?

Randle will be a big key for Walton, who could be carving out an expanded role for Nance as well. That right there could allow Bass to fall by the wayside, a scenario which would certainly be pointless for both sides. At age 31, it isn’t likely that Bass would be willing to spend time on a rebuilding team if he doesn’t have significant playing time off of the bench.

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