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.
Evan Turner reportedly has a new home back east.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Portland Trail Blazers will trade Turner to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Kent Bazemore.
Portland is trading Evan Turner to Atlanta for Kent Bazemore, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 24, 2019
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.
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
— Scot Harvath (@24Bazemore) October 28, 2016
An apology was certainly merited as it was a scary-looking play at the time, and Wall definitely took exception.
John Wall wasn't happy with Kent Bazemore. pic.twitter.com/ys2qY89ftB
— ✖Mars✖ (@hashtagking722) October 28, 2016
Wall, who has a history of being victimized by unnecessary cheap shots, still has yet to respond to Bazemore’s apology publicly. But credit to the Hawks swingman for being a big enough man to say, “My bad.”
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.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 2, 2016
You know what the true irony is about Bazemore turning down $72 million from the Lakers to remain with Atlanta is?
Lakers had Bazemore and let him go for NOTHING and then get turned down a two years later trying to sign him back. Life comes at you fast.
— Nate Jones (@JonesOnTheNBA) July 2, 2016
Do you know why the Lakers released Bazemore after the 2013-2014 season? They were trying to clear cap space for a superstar like Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James.
I guess when you play by the motto “go big or go home,” you can end up spurned by the likes of Kent Bazemore and end up paying Timofey Mozgov $64 million in free agency.
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.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 1, 2016
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.