Is Brandon Bass more valuable to the Celtics as a trade chip?

The trade deadline is right around the corner and change is in the air. The Celtics are in a fantastic position to make some deals happen should they so chose. They’ve got assets, moveable contracts, and picks to use to make some magic happen.

One such piece that has been discussed in several trades this season is Brandon Bass. CelticsLife writers Julian Edlow and Padraic O’Connor debate the merits of working Bass into a trade with three west coast teams looking to close 2013-14 strong and set up next season.

Sound off in the comments on which side you’re taking in the great Bass debate.

Trade Partner- Houston Rockets: BOS sends Brandon Bass to HOU for Omer Asik

PRO- Julian Edlow @julianedlow

This deal just makes perfect sense for Boston. Danny Ainge acquires a legit center to play alongside Jared Sullinger, while keeping Rajon Rondo and Boston’s first-round-pick. Those four assets build a strong core for the Celtics, and really only come at the cost of Brandon Bass (a contract Ainge is already looking to move).

The question would be whether or not Omer Asik wants to remain in Boston. The answer really depends on how fast the Celtics rebuild. But if both Avery Bradley and Jeff Green are still in town along with the foursome discussed above, the rebuild could be speedy.

CON- Padraic O’Connor @padraic_oconnor

At the beginning of the season I was all about Omer Asik throwing on a green jersey. As we are now starring the All-Star break in the face, I feel completely different. Asik has not played basketball in a two months while battling a deeply bruised thigh/knee injury. While a player not willing to play (or not able to play) might be exactly what kind of power a tanking team needs to run on, I could do without the sour grapes. I get that Houston signing Dwight Howard would change his role on the team, but at $8M that isn’t contingent on how much you play, why stomp your feet, pout, and threaten to not play? I can’t see the move to a cold climate and a rebuilding future being the cure.

Character isn’t always the best reason to not go after someone, but in this case that’s what I’m claiming. I can’t get behind an Asik deal.

Trade Partner- Phoenix Suns: BOS sends Brandon Bass to PHO for Emeka Okafor

PRO- Julian Edlow @julianedlow

This move may not be a fan favorite, but it could be essential to the rebuild. Think about it, after the season Ainge would wipe Emeka Okafor’s $14.4 million contract off the books. Combine that with Kris Humphries $12 million expiring and Ainge now has a ton of cap space to play with – essential when I rebuilding mode.

Bass would help the Suns right away on the court, which is exactly what they are looking for. Boston frees themselves from Bass’ contract, which is exactly what they are looking for. The deal comes with a grain of salt in the sense that Phil Pressey must be involved to make the money work. No one has been more of a Pressey fan than myself, but you can’t let him get in the way of the bigger picture. Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic are both point guards already in Phoenix, maybe Pressey finds his way back to Boston.

The money Boston saves could help re-sign Bradley and both of the Celtics’ first rounders in 2014. And who knows, maybe even help lure a free agent too.

CON- Padraic O’Connor @padraic_oconnor

So the Celtics clear more cap space and go after who? Who is the target with all this cap space? Melo? Bargnani? Amar’e? Financial flexibility is a great thing to have for sure, but Celtics are already heading into an off-season full of financial flexibility. To get rid of Bass for little more than another expiring contract in Emeka Okafor seems like a waste of a talent that could net a lot more.

The Suns have been a huge surprise. Considered to be leading contender for west coast tank of the year, the Suns have put together quite the season and hold several first round draft picks. Clearing Emeka is most likely high on their to do list, I just don’t see this as actually helping the Celtics do anything really meaningful.

Trade Partner- Portland TrailBlazers: BOS sends Brandon Bass to POR for Thomas Robinson and Meyers Leonard

PRO- Julian Edlow @julianedlow

This deal is as close to a no brainer as it gets. The Blazers have the lowest scoring bench in the league… they need help! Help comes to them in the form of Brandon Bass. Isn’t he just the perfect fit for this Blazers team? Bass can bring playoff experience to a young team gearing up to make their first deep postseason run.

The rebuilding Celtics would get back two former lottery picks in return. Thomas Robinson and Meyers Leonard are off to rough starts in their careers, perhaps a change of scenery is just what they need. Leonard is a true center and could be a serious force if he begins to scratch his potential. Robinson is an odd story… a top five pick that has never really been given a shot. If Ainge is smart, he gives Robinson that chance.

If this deal were to go down, Ainge would probably have to throw in a late first-round-pick or a couple of second rounders. Still an easy yes.

CON- Padraic O’Connor @padraic_oconnor

Brandon Bass was brought on to the Celtics to replace Big Baby Davis. The Celtics have gotten a lot more than that out of Big Shot Bass. There is no doubt in my mind that Bass could definitely help the Blazers win and make a real impact in the west- they would be the clear winner in this trade and therein lies the problem.

The one thing this trade guarantees Boston is youth… but that’s about it. Leonard is Portland’s third option at center and Robinson has already bounced around to three different teams in his two seasons in the NBA. Neither are producing much right now, so we’d be shipping off guaranteed production at a very fair rate for two question marks making lottery pick money.

Bass is the kind of player that can help a team win now and he’s got a contract that is easy for a team to take on either straight up or part of a much bigger deal. Why trade a guy who you know can help you through this process for two guys you can probably sign as cheap free agents in the future if you really wanted to roll the dice on either one? The Blazers are the clear winner of the trade here, and I can't see Danny Ainge doing any deal where is isn't the winner. Bass may not be in Boston after the deadline, but I doubt Leonard or Robinson will be either.

Where do you stand on Brandon Bass? Is he the best chip the Celtics currently have? Will he be on the Celtics after the deadline?

Photo Sources:

Sam Forencich/Getty Images, Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty Images, Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images, Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images