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Celtics trade rumor: Brandon Bass is Danny Ainge’s most likely deadline deal

Ten days before the NBA trade deadline, Celtics [1] forward Brandon Bass [2] is the most likely player on the roster to be dealt, according to a Sporting News report [3].

The Warriors, Bobcats and Suns are reportedly the most likely destinations for Bass, who is owed $6.9 million next season — the going rate for a player with his production (10.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 54.1 TS%, 15.0 PER, 1,425 minutes).

‘€œHe is a good fit in a lot of places,’€ a league executive told the Sporting News. ‘€œHe can start, he can come off the bench, he can make shots, he can play center against small lineups. A lot of teams need a guy like that.”

Golden State’s best offer? Something like Marreese Speights (owed $3.7 million next season), injured center Festus Ezeli, Jermaine O’Neal [4]‘s expiring contract (bought out before he ever returned to Boston) and a future pick (the Warriors don’t have a No. 1 this season). But does that really upgrade their roster?

The Bobcats could package either of their protected first-round picks (Blazers, Pistons) along with expiring contracts (Ben Gordon [5], Ramon Sessions) or recent lottery disappointments (Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo). Bass and Keith Bogans‘ expiring contract for Gordon’s expiring deal and Portland’s No. 1 pick is an intriguing possibility that would save the Celtics [1] $6.9 million next season and another pick in the loaded 2014 draft.

Likewise, the Suns’ best trade chips are Emeka Okafor [6]‘s $14.5 million expiring contract and any number of four protected 2014 first-round picks (Timberwolves [7], Wizards, Pacers and their own). Given Suns general manager Ryan McDonough‘s prior work under Celtics [8] president Danny Ainge, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the two sides hammer out a deal should their pursuit of Pau Gasol [9] fall through. Bass and Jeff Green [10] for Okafor’s expiring contract and the Pacers pick would save the Celtics $25.3 million over the next two seasons, for example.