Kent Bazemore is headed to a non-contending team, but he is in no hurry to jump ship.
On Saturday, the veteran was traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Sacramento Kings for Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swanigan, and Wenyen Gabriel. Also sent to the Kings were Anthony Tolliver and two second-round picks.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported that Bazemore has no plans to pursue a buyout from the Kings, as he has a great relationship with head coach Luke Walton and the Sacramento front office.
Bazemore, who had some overlap in the Los Angeles Lakers organization with Walton during the 2013-14 campaign, had been having a down year with 7.9 points per game on a career-low 34.7 percent from the field. He will also be a free agent after the season, which could help explain his mindset. Still though, Bazemore is joining a Kings team that certainly has some issues to solve.
This is essentially a swap of veteran wings who are entering contract years, but Bazemore should be a nice fit in Portland, a team with playoff ambitions in a potentially wide-open Western Conference. He’s a good defender who can shoot from three fairly capably. Turner, a reserve for Portland last year, essentially becomes a veteran leader on a young Atlanta team with a gift for a good quote from time to time.
On February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil will emerge from his underground burrow on Groundhog Day to determine whether or not we will have six more weeks of winter. Several days later, on February 8th, NBA general managers will emerge from their underground bunkers on Trade Deadline Day to determine whether or not we have a nuclear winter. The Detroit Pistons’ jaw-dropping trade for Blake Griffin on Monday was one heck of a start and knocked many of us dead in the process. But the fact of the matter is that we in the basketball fandom still crave infinitely more chaos. So in the spirit of the season, here are ten major trade candidates that are still out there.
DeAndre Jordan, C, LA Clippers
Jordan being the only Clippers player left from the notorious Navy SEALS unit that descended upon Dallas in 2015 was a plot twist that I, for one, wasn’t expecting. Nevertheless, he may want to keep an extra suitcase handy as the Griffin trade signaled that, if not a full-scale rebuild, the team is remodeling this roster like an HGTV show. Jordan’s value speaks for itself – basket-to-basket activity with ironman-like consistency (this season’s brief five-game absence was the first time he missed action due to injury in his ten-year career). His expiring contract does give him a specific niche market, but for the lob of God, players of his caliber ain’t available for trade all that often.
George Hill, PG, Sacramento Kings
It took all of six months for the Hill-Kings marriage to go sour, and now we wait and see which team will win custody. A prolonged stay in Sacto is likely untenable – rookie De’Aaron Fox has already lapped Hill on the depth chart, and the Kings’ Western Conference-worst record is pretty much purgatory for a player who has made the postseason in eight of his nine NBA seasons so far. A classic veteran point guard of the 3-and-D mold, Hill would probably be an ideal depth piece for a host of playoff teams. As such, he may not be locked in the royal castle humming “Someday My Prince Will Come” to himself for long.
Atlanta Hawks swingman Kent Bazemore had an opportunity to return to the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent this past offseason but chose not to, and now we know why.
Bazemore, who rejected a four-year, $72 million offer from the Lakers over the summer, admitted on Wednesday that the decision was partly because of how the team declined to extend him a $1.1 million qualifying offer in 2014.
“One thing you want in this league is to be wanted. They didn’t pick it up for that little amount of money,” Bazemore said, per Mark Medina of the Orange County Register. “So that showed how much they believed in me and my abilities. That closed that chapter.”
The 27-year-old Bazemore was traded to the Lakers in February 2014 and made 23 appearances for them, averaging 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. But their failure to extend Bazemore a qualifying offer after the season made him a restricted free agent, and he wound up signing a two-year, $6 million deal with the Hawks. He then took less money to return to Atlanta this past summer, spurning the Lakers’ attempts to win him back.
Ever since his brief stint in Los Angeles, Bazemore has blossomed into a dynamic two-way wing, starting 68 games for the 48-win Hawks last season. For a Lakers team that gave $72 million to an aged Luol Deng this offseason and that continues to play Nick Young and Lou Williams heavy rotation minutes, it’s probably safe to say they’d like to take a mulligan with Bazemore.
The Atlanta Hawks’ 114-99 victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday was marred by a dangerous foul by Kent Bazemore, who undercut John Wall on a transition dunk attempt in the third quarter. But Bazemore, who was whistled for a Flagrant 1 on the play, is doing his best to accept responsibility and move on.
Bazemore took to Twitter on Friday to reach out to the Wizards point guard and apologize for the dangerous foul.
This game has done wayyyy too much for me to play it that way. I've been undercut and it's not a fun feeling. My apologies bro @JohnWall
Kent Bazemore got handsomely rewarded on Friday when he and the Atlanta Hawks reached agreement on a four-year, $70 million deal in free agency. One extremely notable aspect of this news is that Bazemore not only chose to return to the Hawks, but also that he turned down more money from other teams.
According to TNT’s David Aldridge, Bazemore turned down more money from the Rockets and Lakers:
Kent Bazemore takes four years, $70M, turning down four/$72M from Houston and the Lakers, to go back to the Hawks, per source.
The price tag on Kent Bazemore keeps going up and up and up.
Bazemore is one of the more coveted free agents on the market, and there has been talk that he will make in the mid-to-upper teens in millions per season on his next contract. But the latest insight from ESPN’s Zach Lowe on Bazemore may blow your mind.
Teams that have inquired with Kent Bazemore's agent since midnight under impression it might take $19M-$20M per year to sign him.
Bazemore’s first meeting was on Friday morning with the Houston Rockets, a meeting that was attended by James Harden, per The Vertical’s Shams Charania. The meeting ended without the sides reaching a deal, perhaps because of Bazemore’s high demands.
The 27-year-old shooting guard shot 35.7 percent on threes last season with the Hawks and averaged 11.6 points per game. It’s hard to believe that he’ll be getting paid that kind of ridiculous money, but it could very well happen.
Under Armour took a chance on an untested, unproven Kent Bazemore back in 2012. His loyalty to the company is second to none, and he takes the rivalry with Nike very seriously. That includes a rivalry with arguably Nike’s highest-profile active athlete: LeBron James.
Bazemore admitted that he hopes James is less friendly with him because of the rivalry.
Kent Bazemore, on whether he gets a less friendly version of LeBron James because of the Nike/Under Armour rivalry: pic.twitter.com/Nhr1Df4Dle
Do you think LeBron thinks about this? Sure, he’s extremely loyal to Nike, but with all due respect to Bazemore, he’s not exactly a big fish in James’s pond. James doesn’t really seem to treat Under Armour endorser Stephen Curry any different on the court than he does anyone else, and considering how Curry and Nike parted ways, James would have more reason to take it out there than to take it out against Bazemore.
Steve Blake was traded by the rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, the night before the trade deadline in the NBA. Blake was dealt to the Dubs for MarShaon Brooks and Kent Bazemore.
Blake actually showed up to Staples Center for the Lakers’ game with the Houston Rockets and warmed up with the team before being told he was traded. The Warriors are at the Sacramento Kings Wednesday, but they host the Rockets on Thursday night, so we expect him to play in that game.
Blake has averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 assists per game for the Lakers this season. He’s been particularly good on 3-pointers, making 40 percent of them and nearly two a game. He should give the Warriors another outside option. He’s in the final year of his contract, which pays him $4 million this season.
According to Mike Bresnahan, who first reported the deal, Blake said he enjoyed LA and did not rule out returning to the Lakers in free agency.
Bazemore is a second-year guard from Old Dominion. He’s averaged just 6.1 minutes per game this season and has shot 37.1 percent for his career.
Brooks was originally drafted by the Nets and averaged 12.6 points per game for them as a rookie. He was traded to the Celtics in the offseason as part of the Paul Pierce/Jason Terry/Kevin Garnett deal, and he was dealt again as part of a three-way deal in January.
Last summer, ESPN ranked NBA players from No. 500 to No. 1 based on ratings from 104 experts who work for various websites, publications and other media outlets. Unsurprisingly, they came up with LeBron James at No. 1. The bottom of the list included a number of players the average fan has probably never heard of.
One of those players is Kent Bazemore, who played in 61 games for the Golden State Warriors last year and averaged 2.0 points in 4.4 minutes per game. The 24-year-old forward is still trying to make a name for himself, which is why ESPN’s “experts” ranked him No. 499 on their list of 500 names. As Bazemore showed during the Summer League (via @cjzero), he had “499” stitched on the inside of his sneaker as motivation.
Ball Don’t Lie pointed out that the NBA has only 450 available roster spots, so Bazemore was probably offended that ESPN ranked him lower than some players who aren’t even in the league. He is averaging 18.4 points per game in the Summer League, so the youngster is getting an opportunity to showcase his skills. If he becomes more of a contributor next season, the Warriors can thank ESPN.