Why anyone would want to trade Bass, who is a reasonable player on a reasonable contract -- even given his current slump -- is beyond me.
Because he's a poor rebounder, a weak-to-mediocre defender and a limited offensive player with a rapidly improving rookie behind him looking like a better fit as a 5th starter (Sully's a much superior rebounder, progressing into a comparable defender, and offers a broader offensive skillset).
Makes sense to me.
His rebounding isn't great, but I don't see it as something terrible either. I don't find myself complaining in games that his man is consistently getting offensive rebounds over him. His DRR is 15.6% which is not much worse than that of Hibbert (17%), Javale Mcgee (16.7%), Taj Gibson (16.9%) or Pekovic (17.2%). I'm only considering defensive rebounding here because celtics fans know that offensive rebounding is not exactly a choice of Bass' in our system.
His defense was "weak-to-mediocre"? Who exactly has torched Bass that you've noticed? I'll tell you that Josh Smith did NOT in the playoffs last year. Elton Brand didn't do much either. And Bass played very good team defense the entire series against Miami. I'd say his defense is no worse than average and that's a pretty fair description. Weak defenders get torched on the regular in the NBA. Like Antawn Jamison.
He scored 12.5 ppg last season within the flow of the offense at a very good fg%. I don't see what else you want from your 4th/5th option. A 20 ppg scorer who can isolate his man? His shooting has dropped this year, but his shot selection remains the same as last year and I think (as many others do) that his % will come back (51% in january so far).
If Sullinger proves he is starter-worthy, then yes down the road Bass will become expendable. But we are competing for a championship here. I am not as convinced that Sullinger can give us in the postseason what Bass gave us last year. And given what the market seems to want to pay for Bass, I don't think it's wise to trade him yet. Maybe in a year when Sullinger is further developed and as fluid in our system as Bass currently is. Also, Bass' contract won't be as much of a long term commitment for other teams at that point.