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Boston Celtics: One Veteran Who Needs a Big Year

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | When the idea of a rebuilding season comes up, the development of younger players tends to become a priority.

With winning right now not an immediate thought, the focus shifts toward making the team better in the long term. This is the case with the Boston Celtics, who do not figure to be in the playoff picture.

There are plenty of young players on the Celtics that will be watched closely this season; Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, and Kelly Olynyk are just a few. Rightfully so, many fans are focused on these guys because they figure to be a part of the team for the foreseeable future.

There is still value in Boston's veterans playing well this season. Danny Ainge should be looking to trade a few of the older players on the roster, but he will need them to produce early in the season to make this a possibility. Nobody wants to acquire an expensive veteran who looks like he is way past his prime. I'm looking at you, Gerald Wallace.

Brandon Bass having a strong season will be huge for the Celtics. As the year begins and injuries pile up, there will surely be competitors in need of a quality power forward at a decent price. Via HoopsHype, Bass will make a little under $7 million this season, making him affordable for the right team.

As the league continues to play small ball, a power forward who can stretch the floor with his shooting is extremely valuable. While Bass doesn't have the ideal 3-point ability, his mid-range jumper is more than enough to keep opposing defenses honest. He is the perfect rotation player for a contender, as he knows his game and plays within it. He would also bring a veteran attitude who will do anything to win; remember when he admirably defended Carmelo Anthony in last year's postseason?

Brad Stevens will likely look to get Bass significant minutes early in the season in an effort to pump up his trade value. The same could be said for Kris Humphries, although he may be tougher to move due to his salary. As the season goes on, however, Stevens will have to find more playing time for youngsters Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk. By that point, Bass may no longer be on the Celtics.

To maximize the market for his services, Brandon Bass will need to produce early in the year. At some point, there should be an excellent opportunity for Ainge to deal him to a contender.

Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.

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