David Aldridge of NBA.com, on a hot tip from commenter David:
The Orlando Magic are trying to keep up in the arms race in the competitive Eastern Conference, agreeing to terms on Friday with free agent forward Brandon Bass on a four-year deal believed to be worth $18 million…even if he doesn’t start, Bass will provide toughness and size for an Orlando team that now has to contend with Shaquille O’Neal and re-signed forward Anderson Varejao in Cleveland and the return of Kevin Garnett and newly signed Rasheed Wallace in Boston. The Cavaliers made a last-minute push on Bass, according to a source, but didn’t have a way to get him the money he’ll get in Orlando…Bass’s contract has an out clause after three seasons.
It’s tough to lose Brandon Bass. His meteoric rise with the Mavs came out of nowhere, and his slams, sweet jumpers, and periodic on-court flexing will be sorely missed.
Bass definitely deserves a chance to spread his wings, and the Magic may be just the team to accommodate that. May all of Bass’ wildest dreams come true…unless one of those dreams involves exacting revenge on his former team. I doubt it, considering the relatively amicable departure, but Bass is a monster just waiting to go into beast mode on anyone that lines up against him. But all the respect in the world for the noble Sir Brandon of Bass, and look for a more thorough farewell post for the man known affectionately as “The Animal.”
Of course there is a bright side to Bass’ departure: the Magic committing additional salary to Brandon Bass virtually ensures that they will not match the offer sheet Marcin Gortat signed with the Mavs.