On Wednesday evening, the Los Angeles Lakers pulled the trigger on a deal the day before the 2014 NBA Trade Deadline. The trade sent Lakers point guard Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.
The deal seemingly accomplished something that both organizations wanted to at the deadline with the Warriors acquiring a talented point guard to play behind Stephen Curry and the Lakers shedding a bit of salary off the cap. However, this move wasn’t entirely about the money for the Lakers.
According to a report from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles late last night, the Lakers are actually “very high” on Bazemore and think that adding him to their roster will “help now and in the future.”
Bazemore is joining a Lakers team that has been devastated by injuries at both guard positions all season. Steve Nash, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry, Blake, Jordan Farmar, and of course Kobe Bryant have all missed significant time this season due to various ailments. With some of those players still sidelined, Bazemore could likely see playing time immediately in the City of Angels.
In 44 games this season with the Warriors, Bazemore has been used sparingly. Playing a meager 6.1 minutes per game, Bazemore has averaged 2.3 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.3 steals per game while shooting only 37.1 percent from the floor.
Bazemore is still a project in terms of his offense as he’s caught between the two guard positions. He’s not a capable enough ball-handler to take point guard duties, but doesn’t have the perimeter game to play at the shooting guard.
However, his defensive intangibles have always made him and intriguing prospect. Bazemore boasts a monstrous wingspan for a player standing only 6’5”, a trait that can disrupt opponents on the outside. He still needs to tighten things up on that end of the floor, but the potential is there.
If nothing else, though, the ultimate bench-mob may have been born with this trade as the charismatic-celebrator Bazemore has joined forces with the enthusiastic Robert Sacre. Perhaps Bazemore will find his way with the Lakers as Kendall Marshall has since arriving in L.A. If not, we’ll always have the bench theatrics to keep everyone entertained.