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Prize Bass: Why Brandon Bass is Worth a Look in Standard Formats This Season
Last year we saw a lot of glimpses of what Brandon Bass(notes) really could be as a player. In a game at Detroit on December 3rd, Bass played his first NBA game without Magic center Dwight Howard(notes) in the lineup. Howard fell violently ill and spent the duration of the game with his head hovering inches over a toilet, as did J.J. Redick(notes) and Jameer Nelson(notes).
Bass erupted for a season high 27 points, hitting 11 of 12 from the field. Teammate Vince Carter(notes) also added 25, and the Magic won the game by 13. It showed a lot of depth from a Magic team that wasn't expected to be very good with Howard on the sideline, not to mention missing floor general Jameer Nelson.
That performance I think speaks to Bass' ultimate potential as a player. Even being used in a time share situation with Magic forward Ryan Anderson(notes), Bass still made a big impact last season. He averaged double figures (11.2 ppg) for the first time in his 6 year NBA career and at only 26 years of age, Bass has a lot of good basketball left. He should now be entering his prime, and his athletic skills make averaging a double double a real possibility; possibly not this season, but soon.
What could be a realistic line for Bass this season? Well, that depends a lot on a couple of different factors:
- How much time will Bass see spot minutes at center this season? Last season he had to fill in behind Dwight Howard after Gortat was dealt.
- Will Bass attempt his newly acquired three point shot? Bass hit a few threes in Dwight Howard's charity classic.
- How many minutes will Stan Van Gundy devote to "stretch four" Ryan Anderson? Stan Van Gundy is a big fan of Anderson, and he added about 15 pounds of muscle this off season which will further enable him to bang with the bigger power forwards.
Realistically, it's hard to imagine Bass being anything more than a late round flyer this season, but he is going to be my late round flyer. I see a lot of potential in Bass and the Magic need what he brings. If he remains with Dwight Howard and the Magic keep their young frontline of Bass/Anderson/Howard in-tact, he could be a very viable pick in the fall of 2012, and at a bare minimum is a player that we all should be keeping an eye on.
As for a line, let's look at his per-36 from last year:
15.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 51.5% FG
The only problem with per-36, is Bass will likely see about 28 to 30 minutes a game. The other problem here, of course, is that I am only listing three stats. The reason for this is because Bass contributes almost nothing anywhere else. That will limit his ascent on fantasy basketball charts, because multi-category contribution is what makes players valuable in fantasy. If he does gain center eligibility for backup work for Howard (who knows if Otis Smith will bother getting a back up center; I don't trust him as a GM any more after last season), his value obviously increases, as well, though that may not be a likely situation.
All things considered, I still think Bass will be my likely last round flyer in most leagues. Ironically enough, another candidate for the role is actually his teammate Ryan Anderson, who I will cover next in my series of fantasy prospect articles. Having touched on J.J. Redick last piece, this will cover the complete "fringe player" contingent of the Magic team.
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