OFFSEASON

Bass: 'I knew where I wanted to be'

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Bass: 'I knew where I wanted to be'

WALTHAM When Brandon Bass decided to become a free agent this summer, there was a sense that the 6-foot-9 forward would have plenty of suitors.

To him, it didn't matter.

His first choice from the outset was to return to Boston, a goal that became a reality on Saturday when he signed a three-year deal that CSNNE.com reported last week would be worth 20 million.

"I had other offers out, but I knew where I wanted to be and that's back in a green jersey playing for the Celtics," Bass said. "It's a great organization, a great group of guys who are all about winning. I'm excited to be back."

And the C's are excited to have him back, especially when you consider how well he played last season.

His decision to re-sign with the Celtics came after the C's got a commitment from Kevin Garnett, whose three-year, 34 million contract also became official on Saturday.

Their returns meant that the C's would have the same starting five that they had at the end of this past season. While Garnett's return came as a surprise to few (it was either coming back to Boston, or retirement for Garnett), there was some uncertainty as to whether Boston would be able to re-sign Bass.

"Bringing Brandon back to the team was a top priority of ours after the season had ended," said Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations. "Brandon has improved as a player every year that he has been in the NBA and we believe that the best is yet to come from him."

Bass averaged a career-high 12.5 points per game last season, starting in 39 of his 59 appearances. While Bass is certainly coming off a strong season, he still feels there's room - lots of room - to improve.

"I think I still have a long ways to go," Bass said. "I'm ready to get back in the gym, and come back a little bit better a lot better."

Bass added, "I got big dreams. I'm 27 now. Some of my cousins say I'm getting old, but I think I'm still young and I still got big dreams of doing big things in the league. I want to make my imprint on the organization, on a team. I think this is the perfect team."