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Magic trade Brandon Bass for Glen Davis, but what exactly do they hope to gain?

Dec 9, 2011, 11:33 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v Orlando Magic

Amid a flurry of activity across the league, the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic quietly agreed to swap two somewhat frustrating bigs. Brandon Bass, the athletic power forward who gave Stan Van Gundy more than a few gray hairs during his stint with the Magic, is Boston-bound in exchange for a signed-and-traded Glen Davis.

It makes a fair bit of sense for the Celtics, who were at risk of overpaying Davis in order to preserve their frontcourt depth. Boston lost Shaquille O’Neal to retirement and Nenad Krstic to a binding contract in Russia while the NBA was still locked out, and retaining Davis seemed like one of the franchise’s only ways to maintain consistency. Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal are still in the fold, but with both players so often injured and Jeff Green the next best (if “best” is the right word) option to play big, Davis seemed like an unfortunate lock. Doc Rivers and the Celtics hadn’t exactly been thrilled with Davis’ play and conditioning during his stint in Boston, but at times he had been a pivotal component of the Celtics’ oppressive defense.

With this deal, the Celtics have traded Davis for a more athletic, better-shooting equivalent on a more palatable contract. Bass isn’t quite as good defensively, but Boston nonetheless acquired a better player for less money, and found a better fit for their offense, to boot. Well played, Danny Ainge.

But it’s hard to see exactly what the Magic stand to gain with Davis’ four-year, $26 million contract. When at the absolute peak of his game, Davis is an effective defender with decent interior skills and a solid mid-range jumper. But Davis didn’t reach that point very often last season, as the focus-related errors stacked up at an alarming rate. On the hardwood and off, Davis presented problems for the Celtics. He wasn’t the player they needed him to be, nor the one he could be. Investing four years in a player with that kind of history is an iffy decision, especially at the cost of a comparable player on a more reasonable deal.

I can understand why, in a vacuum, the Magic would want a player like Davis (or like Bass, for that matter) to help fill out their rotation. But why commit two extra years and and an additional $18 million in a deal that doesn’t actually make the team better? Where, exactly, is the selling point that makes Davis’ game so much more appealing than Bass’? He isn’t the kind of piece that could entice Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando, nor is he a credible building block for a post-Howard rebuild. Bass himself is far from perfect, but he boasts a more productive and efficient overall game.

This isn’t one of those quirky trades with mutually beneficial fit. It’s trading for trading’s sake, and when the Magic were desperate to shake things up a bit, the Celtics capitalized.

  1. cooldonnyd - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    Bout to get David west.

  2. ravissevens - Dec 10, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Otis Smith is terrible

  3. mjbulls45 - Dec 10, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    woahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ya’ll are drunk!!!!

    what do they gain?

    brandon bass is a f’n beast, i seen this dude in person, he’s a freak of nature , he never GOT CLOCK ANYWHERE !!! in dallas or on the magic

    by the time stan van gundy put bass in the series it was too little too late against boston in 2010

    not ’09… its wierd bc glen davis hit a game winner against the magic in 2009 and then shoved the lil kid outta the way – CLASSIC!

    but seriously BRANDON BASS ON BOSTON IS NO JOKE

    ur front line is garnett, jeff green, jermaine o neal, BASS, DAVID WEST ,

    thats a lot of MASS under that bucket

    I LIKE HOW THE CELTS ARE MAKING MOVES

    and I DONT LIKE THE LAKERS MOVES – WHY

    bc they were going to give up 2/3 of their FRONT LINE for a PG who could get hurt easily

    if u dont have a front line in B-BALL ur done . and thats at any level – middle school, HS, College, pro

    u think ur gonna PHX suns teams to death ur kidding me, u may be able to win a few games, but title teams usually have front court depth…

  4. concernedcitizen001 - Dec 10, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    If this trade truly is as one sided in giving Boston a more athletic (better) player and dumping salary on Orlando at the same time, is it safe to say an email to the commissioner from Dan Gilbert is in order?

  5. foodforthesoul28 - Dec 10, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Good I did not like Glen Davis’ attitude hopefully this will be better!

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