The Golden State Warriors made one of the biggest signings of this NBA Free Agency period in Andre Iguodala, though they did fail to land Dwight Howard. However, with Iguodala now on their roster and their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut still in-tact, the Warriors are primed to build off last season’s success.
However, one of the areas where Golden State still has some work to do is filling out the rest of their roster and figuring out who will be a part of their rotation. Harrison Barnes will likely be one of the first off the bench and Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green will also see minutes, but that still leaves some minor roles in the rotation to be filled.
Though the Warriors will look to add some bargain pieces through free agency, they also can still look in house for players that can play some minutes. One player that may actually get some run is bench-celebration guru Kent Bazemore.
Bazemore just finished his rookie year with the Warriors and really only saw the floor during garbage time. He appeared in 61 games, but saw the floor for only 4.4 minutes per game and averaged just two points, 0.4 rebounds and 0.3 steals per game on 37.1 percent shooting. Bazemore was known more for his enthusiastic and eccentric celebrations on the bench, so much so that they are being put in NBA 2K14.
However, one of the underrated things about Bazemore is that he is a solid defender. Though his mop-up time minutes make it hard to get a real read on his abilities, Bazemore had the lowest defensive rating on the Warriors last season at 94.8. Moreover, he was able to force a turnover on 13.5 percent of the possessions that were run at him when he was defending. Those are solid numbers.
It’s highly unlikely that Bazemore will be a key contributor for Golden State next season, but it’s a distinct possibility that he will be asked to come off of the bench for 10-15 minutes per game and play hard-nosed defense on the wing in relief of Iguodala and Thompson. For the other 33-38 minutes of the game, we’ll still have his amazing celebrations from the sideline.