Recently acquired guard Kent Bazemore has been named a starter in only his second game as a part of the Los Angeles Lakers. Apparently his career-high scoring game against the Boston Celtics on Friday night was enough for coach Mike D’Antoni to alter the starting lineup once again. Bazemore will be playing at the small forward position which is sort of out of position for him, but either way this is still a great opportunity.
At this point in the season, Los Angeles is simply trying to figure out which players on this current roster are worth re-signing at the end of the year. Everybody besides Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre is off the books for next season while Nick Young has a player option.
General manager Mitch Kupchak implied after he completed the trade that sent Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors that the move was not a salary dump but sort of an audition for both Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. Neither player has played a prominent role on their past teams but both are young and have tons of potential. Blake will certainly be missed, but it is uplifting to see that management is already trying to shape a team to contend within the next couple of seasons.
Neither Bazemore nor Brooks seem as if they will be stars, but a team cannot win without the proper supporting cast. I’m sure that we will see Brooks receive the starting gig sooner rather than later. It’s just D’Antoni’s style. He is never afraid to bench somebody solely based on their contract or reputation. D’Antoni appears to believe that every player deserves a shot to show what they are made of. For example, we would have never witnessed the emergence of a player such as Kendall Marshall without his support.