Best Player We Hated to See Leave - 2009
Brandon Bass, Mavericks
On a generally unathletic Dallas Mavericks team, Bass stuck out like Jesse Owens amongst Amish seamstresses. Though undersized, he played like a 7-footer. He scrapped for loose balls. He pogo-sticked for rebounds. He elevated for jump shots. He will be missed. The worst part? In return the Mavs get exactly nada. While general manager Donnie Nelson was rubbing his hands together in anticipation of the arrival of Marcin Gortat, Bass slipped out the side door to the Orlando Magic as a free agent. When Orlando decided to keep Gortat, the Mavs' already inferior interior was gutted. Not that Bass was an All-Star, but next time you see Erick Dampier fumble a pass into the second row, betcha you'll miss his soft hands and thunderous dunks. Right?