News recently broke when Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times reported that the Los Angeles Lakers have traded Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. The Warriors expressed interest in acquiring Blake prior to today, but no trade seemed imminent.
For the Lakers, this is primarily to cut down salary to eventually avoid getting hit with a steep luxury tax bill. Neither Brooks nor Bazemore have really proven themselves to be anything except bench warmers but who knows, with the opportunity maybe one of them can step to the occasion.
As for Brooks, he was expected to be a future asset on the Brooklyn Nets when in his first season he averaged 12.6 points per game. However, since that rookie season, Brooks has failed to live up to the expectations he brought upon himself. We all know that he can score, so with the extended minutes that Brooks will be presented on an injury-plagued Lakers team, he may show us that he can still score at that rate.
Moreover, Laker fans have grown to love Blake, as he brought toughness and leadership to the court when healthy. On the bright side, this deal may help Jordan Hill from being traded, as the team was also exploring deals involving Hill to simply shed salary. If the Lakers eventually find a deal involving Pau Gasol, that may wrap up the Lakers’ trade season.
Trading away Blake’s $4 million salary is going to save the Lakers more than double that figure since the team is currently facing a repeater tax penalty. What this means is that Los Angeles would have spent over the cap for the second year in a row, which is a big issue according to the new CBA. A team as wealthy as the Lakers usually wouldn’t mind the hit, but since they are so far out of the playoff race, it’s worth saving a couple of bucks.